1 armed robbery suspect in custody; 2nd man on the loose


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Gibby Parra

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 8 at 3:02 PM

Map: 23rd Ave. & Bethany Home
23rd Ave. & Myrtle

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PHOENIX -- The search for an alleged armed robber continues after police caught his partner early Monday morning.

According to investigators, the pair robbed a Circle K at 23rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road at about 4 a.m.

Following the suspects' vehicle, dozens of officers converged on the neighborhood of 23rd and Myrtle avenues, about 1.5 miles north of the crime scene. Police say the two men jumped out of their Toyota 4Runner in a cul-de-sac and vanished into the neighborhood.

Officers quickly set up a perimeter, checking cars and ID as local residents left the area.

Police captured one of the suspects fairly quickly. The other remains on the loose.

At 7 a.m., officers on the scene said they believed the suspect was still in the neighborhood. By 8 a.m., police had suspended the search, saying residents should not be worried.

"We have a pretty good idea of who he is so we believe it'll just a matter of time," said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department. "We've done a complete search of the area ... At this point, people in the neighborhood should not be concerned."

Investigators said the two men were armed with a handgun when they walked into the Circle K. They made off with cigarettes and an unknown amount of cash, and zip-tied the clerk before leaving the convenience store.

That clerk was not injured and was able to call the police even though he was bound. It was his quick call that allowed police to find the 4Runner and follow it.

"We had an officer in the area," Martos said.

3TV has requested a recording of that 911 under the Freedom if Information Act.

Martos said officers found several cartons of cigarettes from the store in the 4Runner. Aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed the vehicle being towed from the cul-de-sac where the suspect abandoned it.

The suspect in custody has not been identified and no other details about him or the robbery were immediately available.