PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Police have arrested a man they say posed as a Salt River Project (SRP) worker and allegedly robbed an elderly couple at their Phoenix home. 

Court documents revealed police arrested 48-year-old William Michael Tarby Jr. for the incident that occurred near Interstate 17 and Northern Avenue on July 28.

[VIDEO: Fake SRP worker robs Phoenix elderly couple]

Police say Tarby, along with two other people dressed as SRP workers, contacted the couple, who are 71 and 80 years old.

The three individuals told the victims they were working with SRP, and they needed to check the electrical system.

Once they were inside the home, two of the suspects pulled their handguns and told the victims to "get onto the ground."

According to court documents, the victims told the suspects they couldn't get down due to "health reasons," so they sat on the couch. 

Police say that the three suspects left the home with a lockbox that had $8,500 inside and $3,000 worth of silver ingots. 

Police say they identified Tarby in August after they found his fingerprints on a clipboard they said he left behind. 

During police interviews, Tarby denied he was involved in the robbery or any other home invasions.

When officers showed Tarby a photo of a clipboard and an electric tester, he told officers that he used a similar electrical tester from a friend. Tarby also admitted "to owning multiple clipboards and just gave some away after moving from an apartment."

Tarby said owning those clipboards was the reason his fingerprints could be on the clipboard. 

Police added that the alleged victims were not able to identify Tarby in a lineup. 

Tarby was later arrested and booked for several charges, including criminal simulation, armed robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.

A judge recently determined that Tarby was not eligible for bail.

SRP said Tarby has never been an SRP employee. 

SRP also said they will never show up to a customer's house unannounced. They said they will send a letter before showing up and once they are there, they will never go inside. 

"Right there when you say, 'we need to get into your house.' That is not something that SRP employees ever do. We never ask to gain access into your home. We may have to access the perimeter of your home to get to your meter but we will never ask to come into your home," said Kathleen Mascarenas, the SRP spokesperson. 

Mascarenas also said SRP employees will be wearing a hat, shirt and badge with logos on it. They also will be driving a marked car. 

If you are unsure if a legitimate employee is at your door, you can call SRP at 602-236-8888. Spanish callers can dial 602-236-1111. 

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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