Police chase followed dry cleaner robbery

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Three robbery suspects lead officers on a police chase through midtown Tucson.

Officers say the suspects put a lot of lives in danger in a chase that lasted only two minutes.

Dented cars and crime tape is where a Friday afternoon police pursuit ended, but it all started miles away at a dry cleaner shop on Speedway near Alvernon.

"The first suspect entered the business with a handgun he had his face covered with some sort of mask," said Sgt. Hawke.

Tucson Police Sergeant Maria Hawke says one employee and one customer were inside the shop.

"A second suspect entered the business and proceeded to remove the money from the cash drawer, the till," said Sgt. Hawke.

The suspects would have gotten away with it, Hawke says, if it weren't for officers spotting the car in question at Pima and Columbus.

"They initiated or activated their overhead lights in an attempt to get the vehicle to stop," said Hawke.

But the suspects apparently did not pull over. That's when Hawke says officers began the pursuit that took them east on Pima, north on to Belvedere through a neighborhood and then east on Grant and north on Swan.

When officers reached the neighborhood on Bermuda, they made their move.

"And they were able to affect the Pitt Maneuver which spun the car out which came to a stop as you see it," said Hawke.

Turns out three people were in the car and all three were arrested.

"You can tell there's a significant amount of distance between Grant and here.  They took their time. They were patient and waited for the right opportunity to do that Pitt and make sure it was done as safely as possible," said Hawke.

The suspects have been identified as Juan Valenzuela, Steven Soto and Macho Williams.

An employee at the cleaners did not want to be identified, but one of the suspects kicked the customer in the head which required that person to get stitches.