PHOENIX — A former Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy has been arrested in connection with two armed robberies and an attempted third holdup, authorities said Thursday.
Scott Michael Walters, 38, was taken into custody late Wednesday on suspicion of armed robbery, attempted robbery and several drug offenses.
Walters’ bond was set at $120,000 at his initial court appearance Thursday. He does not have an attorney yet.
Phoenix police said Walters denied any involvement in the crimes in interviews, but admitted that he is a heroin addict.
Walters was arrested after an investigation into seven robberies and attempted robberies in the metro area Sunday and a subsequent search of his home.
Police reported finding boots and glasses believed to have been used in the robberies plus narcotic drugs, drug paraphernalia and a ledger documenting the sale of drugs.
Authorities said a suspect brandishing a handgun robbed three convenience stores, a drug store and one bank and attempted to rob two other banks Sunday in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Peoria.
Police were able to collect DNA samples from some of the crime scenes.
Court documents state that two sheriff’s sergeants identified photos of the robbery suspect as Walters.
Police were told that Walters had recently lost his job with the sheriff’s office, according to court records.
At a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Walters was fired on April 16 following three months of administrative leave.
Arpaio said Walters, who was deputized in 2004, had disciplinary action and suspensions leading up to the dismissal.
“We always do everything we can to salvage one of our employees. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t,” Arpaio said. “We always try to help our employee who could have problems.”