New Mexico man in jail on 25 alleged credit card-related offenses following arrest at Hurricane Walmart

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —A New Mexico man was arrested Saturday after Hurricane Police officers were tipped off that a suspect was in the area allegedly using stolen credit cards.

Shortly after 4 p.m., Hurricane Police officers responded to the Walgreens on State Street in Hurricane after being contacted by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office advising that a suspect was at the store using a credit card that was allegedly stolen out of a vehicle in their district, according to the probable cause statement submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.

According to Kane County authorities, the suspect smashed through a car window and took multiple items, including the credit card reportedly being used in Hurricane.

Officers spoke to the Walgreens cashier who helped the suspect and learned the card was used to purchase more than $700 in merchandise. Officers also viewed camera footage that showed a white male, who was later identified as 39-year-old Ryan Griffin of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the store making the purchase.

Officers were then notified that the credit card was being used at the 7-Eleven gas station across the street, according to the report, where police viewed surveillance footage that showed the same male. Surveillance also provided a description of the vehicle he was driving, a gray Honda minivan.

Shortly thereafter, a minivan matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle was spotted in the Hurricane Walmart parking lot on state Route 9.

Ryan James Griffin, 39, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, booking photo taken in Washington County Nov. 23, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Officers positioned near the entrance of the store recognized Griffin from the Walgreens surveillance footage as he was “exiting the store pushing a shopping cart full of merchandise,” the officer noted in the report.

The officer approached Griffin just as he was opening the rear door of the minivan and grabbed him by the arm, at which point the suspect was able to pull away from the officer and flee the parking lot on foot.

Griffin eventually stopped and dropped to his knees before he was taken into custody. During a search, officers found multiple bank cards and identification cards that belonged to other individuals from multiple states in the suspect’s pockets. During a subsequent search of the suspect’s vehicle, they located the property purchased from Walmart and Walgreens that was later returned to the stores. Officers also located identification cards and financial cards belonging to eight different individuals, as well as a number of social security cards.

Upon review of the transaction documents from Walmart and Walgreens, officers determined that Griffin allegedly made nine total attempts to “charge the stolen credit cards for purchases,” that statement said.

Also inside of the minivan, officers located pointed tools typically used to break through glass that were consistent with the tools that could have been used during the alleged vehicle burglary reported in Kane County.

The officer also noted that Griffin was the only suspect seen in surveillance footage, which led police to believe he acted alone.

The suspect was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked for eight third-degree felony offenses, including seven counts of unlawful acquisition of a financial card and one count of possession of another’s identifying documents. He also faces 14 misdemeanor charges, including nine counts of unlawful use of a finance card, two counts of providing false personal information with the intent to be another actual person; one count of manufacture/possess burglary tools; one count of interfering with an arresting officer and one count of failing to stop at the command of law enforcement.

Griffin remains in custody on $10,000 bail.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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