Suspects create power outage for Circle K robbery

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PHOENIX -- The search is on for a pair of robbers using the cover of darkness to commit their crimes. But officers say the thieves are the ones pulling the plug so they can’t be seen.

They didn’t want the surveillance video to capture them when they were robbing the Circle K at 25th Avenue and Thunderbird, so they simply cut the power. Police say it could have killed them.

APS worked to fix electrical lines Thursday after investigators tell us two men created a short in a transformer.

“They figured out to create this little device, however they did, to throw, to put into the transformer to cause it to have a power surge and short out,” explained Phoenix Police Sgt. Andy Hill.

That caused an explosion, which caused a power outage at the Circle K down the street. The men then walked inside and robbed the store.

“Obviously they were trying to short the power out so there would be no surveillance, nothing that would be able to tie them to the crime – make it difficult for the clerk, or any witness, to identify them,” Hill said.

And they were right. They broke into the cash machine and got away without being caught on camera or allowing witnesses to get a good description.

For police it was the first of its kind.

“In sophisticated crime situations this kind of thing happens; but this was unsophisticated and extremely dangerous, being that someone could have died,” Hill said. “Basically one of the suspects could have killed himself.”

Investigators believe the suspects had been practicing with the transformer days before. Because the suspects were successful police believe they’ll likely try it again.

It cost the utility company thousands of dollars to fix the damage.