So-called 'calligraphy bandit' arrested, identified

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by Tami Hoey

Video report by Steve Ryan

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 15 at 1:35 PM

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police say they have captured the suspected serial pharmacy robber dubbed the "calligraphy bandit". The suspect was wanted at least 13 robberies, in a crime spree that began Nov. 12.

According to police, the suspect, now identified as Tomas Garcia-Mancinas (pictured above), would enter the business and go directly to the pharmacy. He would then present a handwritten note to the pharmacist, demanding oxycodone. After receiving the drugs, the suspect would flee the business.

"One of the notes that he left behind had letterhead on the back of it.  We were able to do some follow up on that, and continually work backwards as to where he had been, what the purpose of that had been," said Phoenix Police spokesman, Sgt. Trent Crump,

He also said Garcia-Mancinas, 25, had been armed with a handgun, and became more aggressive as the robberies continued.

Detectives turned to the public for help locating the robber, releasing video surveillance footage and photos from the pharmacies.

Now, an arrest has reportedly been made. At this point, investigators have not released much information about Garcia-Mancinas, saying only that he admitted his involvement in the crimes after police recovered three different weapons during his arrest.  They also say he claims he was feeding his drug habit, which he developed after taking painkillers for hurting his hand.

"He apologized for his actions, and seemed remorseful, if you will, but of course, that's only after beginning to direct employees around at gunpoint, and taking sawed-off shotguns into the robberies," said Sgt. Crump.

Garcia-Mancinas is facing numerous felony charges, including armed robbery, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.

 

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