Severed finger points to arrest of suspected thief - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Severed finger points to arrest of suspected thief

Joshua Goverman (Source: Glendale Police Department) Joshua Goverman (Source: Glendale Police Department)
Evidence bio-hazard bag containing severed finger (Source: Glendale Police Department) Evidence bio-hazard bag containing severed finger (Source: Glendale Police Department)
This photo is from a friend of the victim. This photo is from a friend of the victim.
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

A finger left at the scene of an attempted theft pointed police to a suspect and the fingerprint they obtained landed him jail, Arizona authorities said.

Joshua Goverman, 29, of Glendale, was attempting to steal copper wire from the work truck of an air conditioning technician on Oct. 7, Glendale police said.

The next morning, the technician found large spools of copper wiring had been pulled out 20 feet from his truck. As he walked to the end of the spool, he saw a finger entangled in the wiring, said Glendale police Officer Tracey Breeden.

"It was strung, a red, a black and a green, strung down here and it was caught on the tire here and I went to the sidewalk and that's where I found the finger on the end," said the technician at Champion Air, Bill Bratcher.

Officers retrieved the finger as evidence and sent it to the Glendale Police Forensics Unit.

"I can't believe he didn't come back and get the finger, I would've come back and got the finger," Bratcher said.

"They took a popsicle stick and were able to attach it to that finger, and they were able to roll that finger and get a print on that finger," Breeden said.

The print led them to Goverman, who was missing a finger when police took him into custody about a week later.

Goverman claimed he lost the finger working on his car until he found out police had his missing digit now frozen and sitting in their evidence locker, Breeden said. That's where it will stay until the case is adjudicated.

"I guess if he wants his finger he can always come back and get it," Breeden said.

Detectives also found that Joshua had posted a photo of his hand with the missing portion of his finger on Facebook just before he was arrested. 

Goverman was booked into Glendale City Jail on a misdemeanor charge of theft. We tried contacting him but could not reach him.

The copper wiring he was allegedly trying to steal was valued at $300.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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