Police Dispatch

Well-Fed Meth Head

Well-Fed Meth Head

Rincon Beat May 3, 6:03 a.m.

At least no food was wasted when a thrifty-but-shifty drug user was arrested at a Safeway he'd been hanging out at for the last seven hours, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department report.

Early one morning a sheriff's deputy responded to an east-side Safeway, where employees reported a man had been wandering the aisles since it opened (and had been loitering outside the store for the six hours before it opened at dawn). Then he'd allegedly been sampling goods throughout the store—for example, plucking grapes off bunches in the produce section, opening the pastry case to help himself to donuts, and downing half a bottle of Vitamin Water.

The deputy pulled the subject aside after interrupting him at a register buying cinnamon rolls and milk. Although the man claimed he'd been "harassed" by employees following him around the store, he allowed himself to be handcuffed on suspicion of shoplifting and a warrant out for his arrest (at which point the deputy saw revealing fresh track marks on his arms).

Guessing he was about to be jailed, the man requested a refund for the food he'd bought, which the deputy returned for him. The man thanked him for getting his $3.98 refund instead of letting the food be discarded at the jail.

Inside the man's hoodie was a pink pouch with "MINE" written on it, containing multiple used and unused syringes, a pipe with residue, a tourniquet and a bag of what looked like meth or crack. More drug paraphernalia were found in his backpack. The man admitted to recently shooting up meth.

He apologized for drinking the unpurchased Vitamin Water ("I forgot—my bad, that's on me") and said he'd just left his girlfriend so he was currently homeless. He was untroubled by being banned from Safeway, despite the time he'd recently spent there. ("I'm not ever coming back," he said emphatically.)

He was jailed on felony drug charges (plus his existing warrant), but shoplifting charges were dropped.

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