Pregnant woman aids in bizarre burglary at Turf Paradise

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on September 5, 2011 at 6:12 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 5 at 6:20 AM

PHOENIX. -- A pregnant woman is in the hospital after she broke into Turf Paradise and crawled through a ventilation space, in hopes of making her way to the race track's money room, according to police.

The woman, along with two men snuck into Turf Paradise, near 15th Avenue and Bell Road, about an hour before opening time, on Sunday.

Police say the suspects threw together a plan just a few hours before.

"Overnight these individuals were driving a vehicle and hit a curb and somehow damaged two of their tires. We understand they had concocted this plan to break into the Turf Paradise this morning and break into the cash box," said Sgt. Steve Martos with Phoenix Police.

One of the men was armed with a flare gun.

Police say they men hoisted the woman up through the crawl space to travel about 50 feet, but the flimsy ceiling tiles gave way in two different spots.

Security noticed the clamor and called police who arrested the men.

Fausto Camargo, 19, and Michael Darling, 42, were held for 2nd degree burglary. Darling also faces drug possession charges.

Officials finally convinced the woman to come down, but she didn't go straight to jail instead telling police she was 5 months pregnant, and felt that perhaps she might be going into labor.

She was taken to an area hospital. Her name hasn't been released.

General Manager Vincent Francia said he's suspicious.

"How would [they] know where our money room is located?" he said. "Most of our employees don't know that."

Francia says this time of year, folks at Turf would bet about $150,000 on a Sunday before a holiday.

No word on how much cash was inside of the money room.

Police say the woman will also be prosecuted once she's released from the hospital. The woman and baby are reportedly doing okay.

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