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Tempe Officer arrested for stealing from department

Tempe Police Officer Aaron Smith was arrested Saturday
morning by Tempe Police Detectives on multiple charges of
theft, burglary and tampering with physical evidence.

Smith, who had been with the department for over seven
years, had reportedly stolen cash, bicycles, and an
equipment case containing a GPS from two separate police

Police suspected Smith of the crimes, and therefore set up
an undercover detective to turn over a purse with $142 to
him while on duty. At conclusion of Smith’s shift the
purse had never been processed.

Smith was taken into custody Saturday morning and search
warrants obtained the bicycles, as well as the purse.

Smith admitted to stealing the bicycles, stealing cash,
and stealing the equipment case. He told police he stole
the property due to troubling financial situation, and had
given the bikes to his children.

It’s estimated the total
amount taken during these incidents was $1,006.

“Trust is paramount – in every aspect of law enforcement
employee behavior and actions,” Chief of Police Tom Ryff
stated. “This instance of criminal conduct clearly does
not reflect the professional standards and practices
expected of- and demonstrated by- Tempe Police employees.
There is no evidence that any other Tempe Police Employees
were involved in these crimes; unfortunately, the
regrettable actions of a single employee can have the
power to overshadow the honorable and daily good actions
that often go unnoticed.”

Smith has now resigned from the Tempe Police Department.