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Police foil alleged burger bandits

Citizen Staff Writer
LAW AND ORDER REPORT

Police arrived at a midtown burger joint Thursday night as its employees and customers were being robbed, a Tucson police spokesman said.

They had been called by a passerby about 10:30 p.m., and the manager of the restaurant – Whataburger, 4352 E. Speedway Blvd. – had set off the silent alarm, Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said.

Police set up a containment area outside the restaurant, Pacheco said, but before they finished, two men ran out the front door, one of them carrying a gun.

“That was actually to our advantage,” Pacheco said. “We didn’t have to deal with a hostage situation.”

The two men dropped cash, a gun and valuables and fled, he said.

Pacheco said the restaurant reported that the men had used guns – one real and the other implied – to force employees to empty cash registers and a safe and customers to give up their valuables.

One of the fleeing men was caught half an hour later, the other 30 minutes after that, Pacheco said.

Aaron Jesus Ortiz, 19, and Andres Bracamonte, 18, were booked into Pima County Jail on Thursday night, a jail clerk said. They were both charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, kidnapping and first-degree burglary.

CARLI BROSSEAU

brosseau@tucsoncitizen.com

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