ARIZONA NEWS

Former Maricopa County temporary elections worker indicted in 3 theft cases

Jul 9, 2024, 4:29 PM

This image was taken from surveillance footage of Walter Ringfield Jr. at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Elections Center. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX — A former Maricopa County temporary elections worker was indicted in three theft cases that allegedly occurred over the past two months, authorities said Tuesday.

Walter Ringfield, 27, faces one count of computer tampering, one count of theft, one count of burglary and one count of criminal trespassing, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

What is Walter Ringfield accused of doing?

Ringfield was first accused of stealing a security fob and keys from the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) on June 20.

Election workers conducting daily inventory the morning after the alleged theft discovered that an item was taken from the Ballot Tabulation Center the previous evening, according to the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Ringfield was seen on surveillance camera footage taking the missing item from a desk, according to court documents.

Detectives served a search warrant at Ringfield’s Phoenix home and found the security fob inside a bedroom dresser and the wrist lanyard in his car.

Ringfield told detectives he was fired for allegedly stealing something, according to the arrest report. He allegedly admitted taking the fob but claimed he gave it back after about 20 minutes, according to the arrest report.

Next, Ringfield was said to have been seen on security footage entering a restricted building at the Arizona Senate and taking items from a security staff member’s desk.

Ringfield took challenge coins and other desk accessories on the day before the alleged MCTEC theft, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

Detectives found the items at Ringfield’s residence in Phoenix, authorities said.

Finally, Ringfield was accused on July 3 of stealing $9,500 worth of jewelry from the Phoenix Art Museum in May.

The jewelry items were being used as accessories on mannequins that were part of an exhibit at the museum near Central Avenue and McDowell Road, according to the probable cause statement for Ringfield’s arrest.

A security guard noticed the items were missing May 22, two days after the theft.

Museum staff found surveillance footage showing a man later identified as Ringfield putting the jewelry in his pockets before driving away in a gray Acura sedan, according to the arrest report.

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Former Maricopa County temporary elections worker indicted in 3 theft cases