Two men and teenager arrested in purse snatching

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By Jayson Chesler By Jayson Chesler
By Jayson Chesler By Jayson Chesler
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Two men and a 17-year-old male were arrested and are facing robbery charges related to a pair of purse snatching incidents at malls in Scottsdale and Tempe, according to court documents.

On June 20, Scottsdale police officers responded to a strong-arm robbery at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Witnesses said a young male grabbed a woman's purse and ran from the scene of the crime. The suspect dropped the purse and was intercepted by police in the parking lot.

After arresting the 17-year-old suspect, officers recalled that a similar robbery had occurred at the Arizona Mills mall in Tempe. Tempe police said the suspect in that crime fled the area in a dark gray, four door sedan with two other individuals.

Officers saw a vehicle that matched the description in a parking lot near Scottsdale Fashion Square. While the officers were observing the car, two men approached it. The two men saw the police, froze and eventually began walking away from the police and toward the mall, while looking over their shoulders at the police periodically.

Officers detained the two suspects and made contact with the Tempe Police Department. Tempe Police told them that the surveillance video from the Arizona Mills robbery was being reviewed and that the gray sedan the suspects fled the scene in had distinctive black wheels with chrome center caps, a sunroof and a distinct antenna.

At this point, the detained suspects were identified as Dwight McClung and Carlos Hawk. They denied knowing each other, but officers determined that they went to the same high school in Peoria. The suspects also denied having any involvement with the underage suspect.

At a Scottsdale jail, officers questioned the underage suspect who was detained earlier. They obtained his mobile number and confirmed that it was the right number with the suspect's mother. The officers in McClung and Hawk's presence called the number and a phone began ringing in McClung's pocket, which contradicted his statement that he had no involvement with the suspect.

McClung was placed under arrest for providing false information to a police officer. While he was being searched, officers found the keys to an Audi. The keys belonged to an Audi sedan in the parking lot near the mall, which was the exact vehicle shown in the Arizona Mills robbery. McClung was taken to jail.

Scottsdale police gang detectives spoke with the underage suspect in jail, who said that he was committing the robberies to try to be part of the "Fly Assassins," a documented criminal street gang. He also said he committed the crimes alongside McClung and Hawk.

Gang detectives also spoke with McClung, who initially denied knowing the underage suspect and denied involvement in the robberies. However, at some point during the interview, McClung began to cry and said that he was the driver of the car involved in both robberies.

McClung said he was not associated with the Fly Assassins, but said that he had contact with some of the gang's members at parties and that he hated them. McClung was questioned about his brother, a documented gang member, but denied being a member himself.

McClung said he wanted to change and that he was sorry for his involvement. He also said he was motivated by peer pressure. McClung said he distanced himself from the underage suspect because he felt guilty.

In total, McClung faces charges for aggravated robbery, robbery, giving a false report to law enforcement and conspiracy.