Pinal County Sheriff's Office arrests ex-Hayden Fire Chief Charles Vega on suspicion of theft

HAYDEN, AZ - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office arrested the former Hayden Fire Department Chief, Charles Vega, on suspicion of theft and trafficking stolen property.

According to authorities, the Hayden Police Department contacted the Pinal County Sheriff's Office after they discovered money from an annual dance fundraiser for the town's fire department was missing.

Officials said that authorities learned that the Gila County Sheriff's Office was investigating stolen property from the Asarco Mine in Kearny. Some of the missing items were four chainsaws valued at $1,120 each.

According to officials, authorities learned that Vega was a former employee of the mine and that the missing chainsaws had been delivered to him.

Gila County deputies located one of the stolen chainsaws after Vega allegedly tried to sell it to replace the money he had stolen from the fundraiser.

Officials said Vega reportedly admitted to the thefts.

According to authorities, the fundraiser brought in $850. Vega allegedly used some of the funds to buy personal items.

Vega was arrested on suspicion of theft and trafficking of stolen property.

Officials said he has since been released.

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