Tempe Police: Man begins string of Circle K robberies, leads police on multi-month chase

Tempe Police reported the following incident on Thursday:

A 21-year-old Phoenix man was arrested Jan. 19 at 35th Avenue and West Durango Street on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery and armed robbery, according to a police report. 

Police arrested the man after they obtained search warrants for his home and vehicle after a multi-month investigation beginning with a string of robberies of Circle K stores in October and November of 2015, according to the report. 

The spree began on Oct. 6, when an unidentified man committed armed robbery at a Circle K store on the 1400 block of West Baseline Road wearing a black ski mask and all black clothes, police reported. 

On Oct. 11, the same man robbed a Circle K on the 900 block of West Baseline Road, with a handgun observed in his waistband, according to the report. 

On Oct. 15, he robbed the first store, wearing similar clothing as the previous robberies, holding two of its employees at gunpoint, police reported.

As he fled the store, he was observed removing his mask, revealing a "fauxhawk" style haircut, according to the report.

Each time, he fled in the same direction toward an apartment complex, police reported. 

Police canvassed the apartments, where an employee matched the description of the suspect to a name, according to the report.

On Nov. 30, the same suspect robbed the first Circle K once more, wearing a similar outfit as the previous robberies, police reported.

The next day, police contacted the management at the apartment complex that named the suspect, who revealed that the man had skipped out on his lease and left the complex, according to the report.

The management also revealed that the man had worked for a security company, police reported. 

Following help from the security company and an extensive search of the man's social media presence, police established a timeline of the residencies and enough information to obtain search warrants for two addresses and a vehicle belonging to the man, according to the report. 

Three days following the issuance of the warrant, the man was arrested and his home searched, revealing the clothes and items the man wore and used during the robberies, police reported. 

He denied any knowledge of the robberies after his arrest and asked to see a lawyer, according to the report.

He was transported to Tempe City Jail where he was booked and held to see a judge, police reported. 


Reach the reporter at Arren.Kimbel-Sannit@asu.edu or follow @akimbelsannit on Twitter.

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