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Updated Jan 28, 2013 - 1:05 pm

January 28, 2013 [RE-BROADCAST OF 2/15/10]

PHOENIX -- It's not often that you hear about armed robberies of Wal-Marts.

But Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch said that it has happened a couple of times already this year.

Burch said the robberies start out as shoplifting, "but when the suspects are leaving the store, they're confronted by security and they immediately either produce a weapon or actually point a handgun at the security guard, which turns it into an armed robbery."

Burch said the first armed robbery occurred on Jan. 5, 2010, at the Wal-Mart on Elliot Road in Tempe.

"The suspects had placed TV sets in grocery carts and then were taking them out of the store," he said. "They were contacted by security and immediately one of them sprayed the security guard with Mace."

The suspects took off in a new model white minivan.

"Two days later, the same two suspects enter a Wal-Mart in Mesa, this time on Baseline Road, and at that location they were putting stuff in a bag, just a regular Wal-Mart bag," Burch said. "They're leaving the store, they're confronted, and this time they've escalated as far as their violence potential, because now they've pointed a handgun at the security guard."

The men use the same getaway car, but something's fishy about the license plate.

Burch said police got a license plate number that did not match the vehicle.

One suspect is white and the other is Hispanic. Both are described as about 30-years-old with average builds.

If you have any information related to these cases, contact Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS or (800) 343-TIPS.

We want you to tell us everything you know... except your name.

If you have any information related to these cases, contact Silent Witness at: 480-WITNESS or 800-343-TIPS.

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About the Author


Years with the company: 18

More on what you do (at work): I put up with Mac & Gaydos every day as well as writing and anchoring newscasts and doing some reporting. I also produce Silent Witness which airs every Monday morning.

Education: I started in radio during high school and kept with it. I also graduated from modeling school, but quickly realized it isn't what I love to do…radio is.

Family: Married. One pet…a cat named Molly (but she thinks her name is Princess).

Favorite food: I love anything cheesy or chocolatey.

Favorite spot in Arizona: Our family cabin in Strawberry.

Favorite news memory: Too many to list but I remember one time I helped rescue a litter of puppies found in a hole on an empty lot…

Favorite movie: I like too many to list any one as a favorite. I don't like sad movies so my LEAST favorite is Marley & Me!

First job: Washing dishes at the restaurant my friend's parents owned when I was 13.

First concert: Rick Springfield at the Arizona State Fair in 1981.

#1 sports team: Suns, Diamondbacks and Cardinals

Outside interests: I sing with the band at church, I bake, I read and I treasure hunt at thrift stores and yard sales. I also love to travel…but not if I have to drive.

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