County Attorney issues new Crime Handbook for the public

Not sure what distinguishes a felony from a misdemeanor? What kind of punishment can you expect for each?

What is the difference between the county attorney’s office, the district attorney’s office, city prosecutors and the attorney general?

What were the most prevalent crimes in the Valley last year? What are our most recent crime statistics?

How can you protect yourself from the most common crimes, such as ID theft, auto theft, elder fraud and burglary?

What’s going on with graffiti?

All this and much more in the county attorney’s new Road Map to Crime Prevention Handbook.


  1. So, today’s newspaper had a report that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is laying off employees, cutting department budgets and imposing a hiring freeze…and it also contained YET ANOTHER slick campaign mailer from Andy Thomas, who flagrantly continues to campaign for Governor on the taxpayer’s dime.

    I wonder what all you Rs have to say – especially those who were trashing Giffords just a few weeks ago for using her Franking privilge to send out mailers in CD8?

    And Puhleeze don’t tell me it’s a “service to constituents.” Data on crime can be found on the Republic’s website. All this data could easily be provided electronically as well.

    This is electioneering. He may have that right, and I’ll even grant you that elected officials have an obligation to do outreach.

    But the number of press conferences, TV commercials – and now this slick mailer, which was printed and inserted into a couple of hundred thousand newspapers this morning – is more than a bit over the top.

    I wonder how much we’re all paying for this?

  2. SonoranSam,

    The handbook was paid for with a grant from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, using money seized from criminal enterprises, not taxpayers’ money. And isn’t fighting crime part of the duties of the prosecutor’s office?

  3. Kralmajales says


    I suspect that most of us in Arizona would hope that the money seized in crimes would go to actually fighting crime…and to the men and women who risk their lives every day out there policing it.

    Not a good defense of HIS franking.

  4. Unconverted says

    Preventing crime IS fighting crime. And the problem with using seized or “found” money for everyday budget needs is huge. Say for two years in a row the sheriff seizes 2 million, and the next year nothing. You would smell a tax increase. All budgets go through the process, and the supervisors make the decisions.

    Stupid as it sounds, most crime victims had no idea what to do to, for example, to prevent ID theft. You might think it’s obvious, but most people (statistically) have a lot to learn and they can get a start with booklets like that. And websites. Not everyone has time to just go sit in criminal court for an afternoon and find out just how serious a problem it is.

  5. Unconverted, you’re wasting your time arguing with Sonoran Sam and Kralmajales. Both are well-known Arizona liberals who consistently post comments on this website attacking its writers for their conservative viewpoints, and they would attack anything Andrew Thomas does simply because Thomas is a conservative Republican. I received the Crime guide this morning in my newspaper and was very pleased with it. I wish someone had come up with something like it a long time ago. I’m a fairly new resident to the Valley and was not aware of some of these things. Who better to educate the public than the office responsible for prosecuting crime? Maybe you don’t care to know what the crime rates are in town and how you can protect yourself from the types of crime we have here, but I do and I’m sure the vast majority of Arizona residents do too. Andrew Thomas isn’t getting much promotional benefit out of it, his picture isn’t on the cover; there’s only a small photo of him inside the guide. If you don’t care for the guide, why don’t you return it to the office so they can give it to someone who will appreciate it?

  6. Iris Lynch says

    You are so right. Further, there are certain people in this world who are of the opinion that if they like chocolate, EVERYBODY must like chocolate.

    It does not occur that there are many different types of people with many different needs, some of whom have no computers to get their jollies on all day.

    However, they are also the first who will will smear any efforts they don’t completely comprehend and ballyhoo the ineffective use of monies to effect the economic dependency on an entire class of people for their own good. RIGHT.

  7. kralmajales says

    Again, would you rather have money for our law enforcement officers who are the ones that police crimes. By the way, this is the job of our police. They compile the crime stats, it is their job to educate the public about crime prevention, and the funds used from seizures, to me, might be much better spent with more patrols, higher salaries for police, and the like.

    You must admit that if this had come from any other government agency, not about crime, and not from your future gubenatorial candidate, you wouldn’t be so terribly thrilled about it as a taxpayer expense.

  8. Sonoran Sam says

    Ginny and Iris:

    The point is intellectual consistency. I grant Thomas the right – indeed, the obligation – to communicate with taxpayers.

    I think the huge amounts of money he has spent on television commercials and this handout – which must have cost a fortune – is over the line.

    He could provide this information easily and at much lower cost by offering it as a downloadable pdf on his website. He could have reached those who are less innet savvy by leaving copies at libraries, police stations, post offices, etc. That would have reduced the high cost of inserting it into EVERY copy of the Republic. And please believe me, that is a costly and wasteful way to distribute pamphlets. At least three out of five, I’d estimate, went into the garbage along with all the other annoying inserts that fall out of the newspaper you’re trying to read.

    This wasteful use of taxpayer dollars – and seizures are still government funds that could have been used for…maybe fighting crime?

    It’s not whether I like strawberry or you like chocolate. It’s an issue of using public dollars wisely.

    And the next time I hear one of you Thomas apologists whine about Giffords using her Franking privileges – just like the other 434 members of the U.S. House – or Napolitano’s face showing up on a publication issued by a state agency – I will call you on your intellectual inconsistency.

  9. A broad brush cannot be use to paint all constituent information pieces with the same color.

    Certainly in tight economic times every dollar should be used to its best value. Does a PSA with the county attorney speaking at the end really keep kids off drugs? I don’t think the ones I have seen will. But it sure can make Thomas look like he is on the job.

    Does an easy to read manual on Arizona Law and citizen issues? I think it helps and lines up with the office and its responsiblities.

    The PSA’s are a self-serving way to associate his name with law & order, tough on crime, I care about your kids, etc…. the handbook is citizen serving and a good idea.

    Franking by Congressional members, again, if it is important information that is district specific, occasionally is good. But, frequent and self-promoting. Not a good thing.

    To call one office holder out on an abuse is not to say anyone doing the same thing is guilty of the same abuse. Context, please.

  10. Unconverted says

    Right now Giffords has opponents, as does Harry Mitchell. Opponents who probably know what they are doing, and are taking advantage of every mistake those freshmen make. Thomas has only token opposition as far as a serious contender goes. If you are running against someone who merely sends out too much mail, you’d better find another problem they have or you are toast. It’s in the nature of democratic politics to make campaign promises, keep those promises, and then let everyone know it. If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it…BOS should be thanking Thomas for mentioning them.

  11. Iris Lynch says

    All is not lost!

    Funny, no one mentioned the children’s books given by Napolitano with her picture, nor her billboards welcoming future voters to the state. And let’s not forget, Thomas is white, male, and educated, so we must remember he starts out with a lot against him.

    Also, I must have missed the announcement of his candidacy.

  12. kralmajales says

    Oh that is hillarious…white, male and educated still, by and large means that you make 20-30% more than females and a whole whole lot more than most most minorities. As someone who was a poor, white male from Appalachia, I used to feel the same way, but somehow affirmative action didn’t keep me down.

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