Payson, AZ - Shoplifting Case - Suspect Steals Payson Police SUV - 90 Minutes Later It Was Spotted - DPS Chased - Stop Sticks Flattened The Tires

July 9, 2014

Payson police said they have identified a suspect in custody after a Payson police SUV was stolen and taken on a 90-minute joyride to the Phoenix area Sunday night.

He is 20-year-old Valentine LaBorin.

Two Payson police officers were working a shoplifting case with another officer and had parked their SUV outside a house in a Payson neighborhood. When they came out, it was gone, Payson Police Chief Don Engler said.

An off-duty Glendale officer spotted the clearly marked SUV near the West Valley about 90 minutes later and police and DPS officers chased the stolen SUV a short distance before stop sticks were deployed and flattened the tires.

LaBorin was taken into custody and both the vehicle and suspect were taken to Payson.

No one was hurt and two weapons that were in the vehicle when it was stolen were still there when it was recovered, Engler said. A rifle was locked in the front of the car and a shotgun was still inside its case in the back.

The only damage to the SUV was the flat tires, Engler said.

Engler said he wasn't sure whether the officers left the keys in the vehicle before it was stolen and that he also didn't know if the police department has a written policy about leaving vehicles while on call or off-duty. He said those procedures are, however, discussed during training.

The police department is conducting an internal investigation, Engler said.