Map: Jewelry store robbery
PHOENIX – A team of alleged robbers in a jewelry store heist did not get far thanks to a soldier who sprung into action and is being called a hero.
The owner of the store says he is still shaken up but very thankful for his customer who was not too scared to go after the suspects.
The soldier says, “I can tolerate a lot of things but crime, unprovoked violence and theft is…I won’t put up with that, it’s unacceptable.”
The man is a military pilot who just happened to walk in on the armed robbery at the store located near 36th Street and Indian School Road Tuesday afternoon. He says, “I saw two guys hunched over and rifling, arm sweeping through the display cases.”
The soldier could not see the owner, whom investigators say was tied up with duct tape.
Police say 56-year-old Mark Edward Blocksom and 42-year-old Matthew Murphy had put a gun to the owner’s head and tied him up.
The suspects later got into a scuffle with police officers.
The soldier who has served two tours in Iraq says he is used to stressful situations. He says he walked back to his car and called police. “I was on with the 911 dispatcher and I really didn’t give her a choice because I’m sure she would have told me not to. I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to follow this car’.”
The suspects got into a getaway car driven by 42-year-old Deborah Jean Fosnaught and the soldier followed them until he saw a patrol car.
Investigators say Fosnaught pull into an apartment complex. The soldier says, “The chase was on, the doors opened and officers obviously had their weapons drawn and there was a little foot chase, they didn’t get far. There were some fast police officers.”
Although three officers suffered minor injuries during the arrest, they were able to take all three suspects into custody.
The soldier says, “I’m just glad I got the bad guys.”