Originally Published: December 18, 2011 9:45 p.m.
Prescott police booked a man into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on Tuesday on misdemeanor charges of theft and false reporting to law enforcement after he reported a robbery at a Christmas tree lot where he was working, and officers later found the missing money on him.
The suspect's name and booking photo are not included in this story per Courier policy not to identify people who are charged with misdemeanors.
"He told the detective that the reason he did it was to pay for an auto repair and to help out a pregnant girlfriend," said Prescott Police Lt. Andy Reinhardt.
At 2:05 p.m., an officer answered a call about a robbery at the Christmas tree stand in a parking lot in the 3100 block of Willow Creek Road.
The suspect initially told officers that a man had looked around the lot, then approached him, unzipped a hoodie, flashed a gun at him and demanded all the large bills in the register, according to the police report.
Five officers and three detectives investigated the incident and tried unsuccessfully to locate the suspect, Reinhardt said, adding, "Investigation led to some doubt about the truthfulness of his statements."
After the tree lot employee consented to a search of his car, he told a detective that he made up the story to conceal the fact he had stolen the money from the register, Reinhardt said.
Police recovered the money and booked the man into jail, Reinhardt said.