A shoplifting case in Sahuarita this weekend resulted in a police chase and minor crash, officials say.
It all started when police received calls about an older model white truck leaving the scene of a theft at a T.J. Maxx store. Officers soon spotted a truck matching the description provided by a witness and followed it north on Interstate 19, police said in a news release.
Both an Sahuarita Police Department officer and a Pima County Sheriff’s Department deputy tried to stop the truck on Pima Mine Road. At points during the chase, items were tossed out of the windows.
A squad car slid into the pickup truck as its driver tried to make a U-turn near the entrance to a mine, causing minor damage.
A person then ran from the truck, but police say 40-year-old Jonathan Ray Irby of Tucson was eventually caught and arrested. Irby was booked into Pima County jail on suspicion of felony organized retail theft, possession of drugs and burglary tools and outstanding warrants, police said.
Additional officers and a helicopter were used to look for the pickup truck. It was eventually found, but its occupants were gone, police said.
Inside the pickup truck police say they found about $1,500 worth of items stolen from various businesses, a small amount of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sahuarita Police Department at 520-344-7000 or on the tip line at 520-445-7847.
Edward Celaya is a breaking news and marijuana reporter. He has been on both beats since May 2021.