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Former Maricopa County temporary election worker charged

PHOENIX — A former temporary Maricopa County election worker has been charged in three theft cases that allegedly occurred over the past two months, authorities said Tuesday.

Walter Ringfield, 27, faces one count of computer tampering, one count of theft, one count of breaking and entering and one count of criminal trespassing, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

What is Walter Ringfield accused of?

Ringfield was first charged with stealing a security remote and keys from the Maricopa County Elections and Tabulation Center (MCTEC) on June 20.

Poll workers conducting daily inventory the morning after the alleged theft discovered that an item had been stolen from the Vote Tabulation Center the night before, according to the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Ringfield is seen on surveillance camera footage taking the missing item from a desk, according to court documents.

Detectives executed a search warrant at Ringfield’s Phoenix home and found the security key fob inside a bedroom dresser and the wrist lanyard in her car.

Ringfield told detectives he was fired for allegedly stealing something, according to the arrest report. He allegedly admitted to taking the keychain, but claimed he returned it after about 20 minutes, according to the arrest report.

Ringfield was then said to have been seen on security footage entering a restricted building at the Arizona Senate and taking items from a security staff member’s desk.

Ringfield took challenge coins and other desk accessories the day before the alleged robbery from MCTEC, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

Detectives found the items at Ringfield’s Phoenix residence, authorities said.

Ringfield was ultimately charged on July 3 with stealing $9,500 worth of jewelry from the Phoenix Art Museum in May.

The jewelry was being used as accessories on mannequins that were part of an exhibit at the museum near Central Avenue and McDowell Road, according to the probable cause statement for Ringfield’s arrest.

A security guard noticed the items were missing on May 22, two days after the robbery.

Museum staff found surveillance footage showing a man later identified as Ringfield putting the jewelry in his pockets before driving away in a gray Acura sedan, according to the arrest report.

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