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Tempe Police: Man has money, steals shirts anyway

Police Beat photo

The Tempe Police station, which is located on Fifth Avenue near College Avenue. 

Tempe Police reported the following incident Tuesday:

A Mesa man was arrested March 2 on the 5000 block of South Arizona Mills Circle on suspicion of shoplifting, tampering with evidence and dangerous drug possession and use, according to a police report.

A witness called mall security who followed him into a Lids store at the mall, police reported.

Two shirts that were reported stolen were found in a bag he was carrying from another store, according to the report. After the merchandise was taken back the man ran away from security, but he was detained by security, police reported.

The man had enough cash on his person to buy the two shirts he stole, police reported.  When officers asked him why he didn't just use his cash to pay he replied, "If it was free — might as well," according to the report.

When officers searched the man they found about 40 Xanax pills in a clear white bag in his pocket, police reported.

The man said the pills were prescribed to him for anxiety, and he lied to officers about not having drugs because he was afraid he wouldn't be able to prove it because they weren't in his bottle, according to the report.

While in custody of mall security, the man lunged at the security officer while he was doing paperwork, according to the report. Mall security said that he tried to grab the Xanax pills and run again but was unsuccessful, police reported.

The man was transported to Tempe City Jail, where he was booked and held to see a judge, police reported.

Report compiled by Megan Janetsky.

Related links:

Tempe Police: Man robs someone for less than $2

Tempe Police: 1 person shot at Tempe apartment complex after altercation

Reach the assistant news editor at or follow @meganjanetsky on Twitter.

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