Phoenix police arrest woman for stealing cars

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PHOENIX -- Phoenix police officers arrested a woman for allegedly stealing two cars and attempting to steal a third.

At approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday, an off-duty Phoenix police officer who was working security at Desert Sky Mall at 75th Avenue and Thomas Road reported an attempted armed robbery of a vehicle at that location.

The suspect, described as a woman with a ponytail, was driving a gray Pontiac.

As officers looked for the suspect car, a fight was reported in the area of 67th Avenue and McDowell Road, according to Phoenix police Detective James Holmes.

Officers responded to that area and learned a woman who fit the description reported in the earlier attempted robbery had forcibly stolen a white Oldsmobile from a woman.

Holmes said officers spotted the car and stopped the driver near 43rd Avenue and McDowell Road.

The suspect, identified as Francine Betancourt, 28, was taken into custody without incident.

The investigation revealed that Betancourt had taken the Pontiac in an armed robbery just before 1 p.m. in the area of 37th Avenue and McDowell Road and had used the car to attempt to steal another at Desert Sky Mall.

The Pontiac was later recovered in the area of 69th Avenue and McDowell Road.