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A former acting fire chief for Hayden is accused of theft and trafficking in stolen property after a lengthy investigation involving stolen chainsaws and money from a volunteer fire department fund.
Charles Vega, 37, was arrested Feb. 20 by Pinal County Sheriff's deputies after a string of events that included taking money from a fund-raising dance for the Hayden Vounteer Fire Department and chainsaws meant for the Asarco Mine in Kearney.
Vega was recently removed as the fire chief and is a former worker at the Asarco Mine.
Hayden police told Pinal County investigators in December they believed the $850 taken from the volunteer fire department fund-raiser was done by a town employee.
At the same time Gila County Sheriff's deputies were investigating the theft of property, including four chainsaws valued at $1,120 each, from the mine.
Deputies said the chainsaws were ordered at the mine and had been delivered to a mine warehouse. It was later learned the saws were delivered to Vega, deputies said.
Deputies said they recovered one of the stolen chainsaws and that Vega tried to sell another to replace the money in the fire department fund.
Vega was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of theft of controlled property and trafficking in stolen property. He was released on his own recognizance.
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