Former Hayden fire chief arrested on theft charges
Web Producer: Mekita Rivas
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office arrested 37-year-old Charles Vega, the former acting fire chief of Hayden, Ariz. Vega was arrested for theft and trafficking in stolen property.
In a news release, PCSO spokesperson Tamra Ingersoll said that in December, Hayden Police contacted PCSO after money from an annual dance fundraiser for the town's volunteer fire department was found to be missing. Officers told sheriff deputies that they believed a town employee was responsible for the theft.
As the investigation continued, Gila County Sheriff's Office was investigating a theft of property from the Asarco Mine located in Kearny. It was soon discovered that Vega was a former employee of the Asarco Mine, and one of the last people to have the stolen items.
The items stolen from the mine were as many as four chainsaws worth $1,120 each.
After changing his story several times, Vega finally confessed to deputies that he had stolen the chainsaw from the Asarco Mine to be able to replace the money he stole from the town fund.
Vega was arrested and booked on theft and trafficking in stolen property charges. He has since been released on his own recognizance.