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Updated Jun 27, 2014 - 1:33 pm

FBI rewards pair of good citizens in Valley for leading police to bank robber

The Federal Bureau of Investigation rewarded two good citizens Thursday for their courage, valor and assistance in capturing a fugitive of the law.

"We have to pay attention to get rid of the bad people that are hurting the innocent and police officers," said Richard Bounds, recipient of a cash reward. "My message to the community is to never be afraid about calling the police, they're there to help."

The story began on Dec. 23, 2013, when suspect Mario Garnett started a cross country crime spree. After a failed bank robbery, he allegedly robbed an ATM customer in Atlanta, Ga. Later that day, he allegedly robbed a bank in Tupelo, Miss. and subsequently is accused of shooting two Tupelo police officers during the escape. Officer Gale Stauffer was fatally wounded and Officer Josheph Maher was critically wounded but survived.

A few days later, Garnett allegedly robbed the BBVA Compass Bank on W. Thomas Road and N. 31st Ave. in Phoenix. During the robbery, when Bounds called the police to alert them of the robbery and stayed on the phone until police officers arrived on scene. After a shootout with Phoenix police, the suspect was struck and killed.

Bounds and another witness each received certificates of appreciation and each received a check for $25,000, money which had been offered for information on the case.

About the Author

Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.


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