UPDATED - Helicopter sightings: Why was that chopper flying all around Kingman?
KINGMAN - A Department of Public Safety helicopter crew hovered in the sky above Kingman Monday afternoon as officers on the ground pursued a fugitive.
It was one of three helicopter incidents reported on Monday that drew widespread interest around Kingman.
In the Monday afternoon incident, Pablo Andres Figueroa, 53, was taken into custody after a brief pursuit with a Kingman Police officer who tried to pull him over in the 700 block of Windsor Avenue at about 1 p.m. The officer reportedly knew Figueroa had a warrant when he spotted him driving a white van. Figueroa allegedly fled and the officer briefly gave chase before he backed off after speeds reached 60 mph in a residential area behind Kingman Regional Medical Center.
The van was found deserted in the 500 block of Simon Avenue, where Figueroa fled into the home of an acquaintance. With a DPS Ranger in the air, police called in K9 Amigo to help find Figueroa. A record check revealed the felony California warrant and a search of Figueroa's van allegedly revealed he possessed enough marijuana to merit a sales charge and drug paraphernalia.
He was charged with unlawful flight from law enforcement, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
KPD received a call around 7 p.m. that juveniles were throwing rocks at the city of Kingman water tanks at Anson Smith Road and Cerbat Cliffs Road.
The DPS chopper hovered over scene to watch the juveniles until KPD arrived. The officer contacted the juveniles and one was arrested on misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The remaining juveniles were released to their guardians.
KPD spokeswoman Jennifer Sochocki said the DPS crew was on a training mission at the time they were called to assist.
"They happened to be in the right place at the right time and returned to their mission as soon as KPD arrived," Sochocki said.
The DPS Ranger scoured the area north of Walmart looking for a shoplifting suspect between 11:15 p.m. Monday and 1:15 a.m. Tuesday.
A 29-year-old Kingman man was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting.
KPD responded to a report of a male shoplifter fleeing Walmart and one male shoplifter exiting the store in the 3300 block of Stockton Hill Road. Officers requested the assistance of the helicopter to locate the man who fled the store on foot.
One man was located in the parking lot. He allegedly had concealed items and exited the store without paying for them, according to police. He was arrested.
The other man - the one police and the helicopter searched for - was not found.
Sochocki said that one suspect had a felony parole violation warrant out for his arrest.
"DPS has always been a huge asset to us," she added. "We work very well with DPS and we're always willing to assist each other."