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Updated Jan 28, 2013 - 1:05 pm

January 7, 2013 [RE-BROADCAST OF 2/8/10]

PHOENIX - Thieves are cashing in on stolen cell phones.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Darren Burch says the phones are prime targets.

"They're small, they're expensive, so you get more bang for your buck, literally," Burch said. "You can have a lot of them in a small, confined space, so it's easier to traffic the stolen property."

Burch described two different unsolved armed robberies of cell phone stores.

The first occurred July 31, 2009, at about 3 p.m., near 19th Avenue and Southern Road.

A Hispanic man in his early 20's walked in with a gun and cranked a round into the chamber.

"(He) literally points it into the face of the clerk, demanding cash and property, which is the cell phones."

He took the stuff and ran.

The suspect weighed about 200 pounds, with a big build, standing around six-feet tall. He had a goatee at that time.

In the second case, an armed man walked into a Maryvale store in broad daylight.

"He was much more violent in this case," Burch said. "He walks in, (and) there's a female clerk alone. She kind of gets a bad feel of the whole situation, the way he walked in and approached her. So she starts going into the back, and then he literally pursues her into the back area, beats on her, throws her on the ground, kicks her. He even bound her before taking all the property."

This suspect was also Hispanic, between 28 and 30 years old. He stood about six-foot-two-inches and weighed about 200 pounds.

"He is distinctive in the sense that he has acne scars on both cheeks and he has that 602 tattoo on the left side of his neck."

"These suspects are doing this during normal business hours," Burch said. "They could have been walked in on by another patron. Who knows what could have occurred. We're talking both armed with handguns."

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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