Officers were led by a water trail to a stolen water truck and the man who took it earlier this month in the southeast Valley.
Mesa police report that on December 2 about 4:45 a.m. they were contacted by a Gilbert Police detective who located a stolen water truck.
The Gilbert detective reported that he saw a man, later identified as 38-year-old Freddy Paul Bay, having difficulty driving the large construction water truck.
Further down the road, he noticed a fenced construction yard where part of the fence was knocked over. The detective followed the water trail to an area near Gilbert and Baseline roads where he spotted Bay inside the truck.
Bay allegedly admitted to taking the water truck valued at $122,000. Police say the damage to the fence is estimated to be about $2,000.
Bay, who was working in the construction industry, was released from prison three months ago after serving a 3.5-year sentence for burglary and vehicle theft.
He has now been charged with burglary, criminal damage and vehicle theft.