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4 charged in string of violent crimes across city

Citizen Staff Writer



Tucson police arrested four teenagers Wednesday suspected in a string of violent crimes, including armed robbery, kidnapping and rape.

All the incidents took place between Aug. 20 and Sept 24, police said.

The four arrested are Charles E. Flowers, 19; Tyrel Flowers, 17; Dion Bruner, 18; and Christopher L. Bacon, 17. All remain in the Pima County Jail on bond.

Together they face a total of 86 felony charges.

Tyrel Flowers, 17, is a member of the Bloods street gang, police said.

The men allegedly began what Tucson police Sgt. Fabian Pacheco and Lt. Rick Middleton called a “violent crime spree” by robbing the Cash Box Pawn Shop, 2014 S. Craycroft Road, on Aug. 20 and taking 16 handguns.

Pacheco said the four seemed emboldened by their success. They are charged with using the weapons to force their way into an apartment in the 7700 block of East Broadway at about 9:30 the next evening.

Residents told police several armed men entered the apartment, stole some property and took the occupants’ vehicle.

On Aug. 27, at about 2:05 a.m., three men armed with handguns entered a Circle K at 8630 E. Golf Links Road and ordered the clerk to the floor. The three took cash from the register, dragged an automated teller machine outside and took money from it.

On Aug. 30 at 4:48 a.m., two men with handguns ordered a clerk at the Circle K at 7900 E. Broadway to the floor. They took cash from the register and “unsuccessfully attempted to pry open an ATM,” Pacheco said.

Eleven minutes later, two men with guns pulled off another “takedown” robbery, forcing a clerk to the floor at a Circle K, 7475 E. 22nd St., and stealing money from the cash register. They failed to pry open an ATM.

Twenty-seven minutes later, another convenience store was robbed, police said. Two men with guns ordered a clerk to the floor at a Quik Mart at 1204 N. Alvernon Way. They took the money from that store’s cash register and fled.

On Sept. 15, at about 1:20 a.m., a 23-year-old woman was carjacked by two men with handguns as she was getting out of her vehicle in the 1100 block of East Irvington Road.

Middleton said the men drove the woman to a desert area in the 2800 block of East Ajo Way, bound her, raped her and left her there as they fled in her car.

At about 1:35 a.m., three men wearing masks robbed a Circle K at 2750 N. Tucson Blvd.

At about 3:15 a.m.,, three men believed to have also robbed the Circle K robbed a Quik Mart at 1890 S. Mission Road, and at 3:50 a.m., also are believed to have robbed a Quik Mart at 1140 S. Fourth Ave.

Middleton said robbery, sexual assault and gang detectives worked on the case, which was helped by a tip from a 911 caller.

The suspects, under surveillance by police, were captured Sept. 24 by members of the Gang Tactical Unit, who pursued them on foot.

The men, who police said appeared to be attempting a robbery, ran from a Walgreens at Campbell Avenue and Irvington Road into a nearby apartment complex, where they were arrested.

According to online jail records and a jail clerk, Bacon is being held on 30 felony counts in the Pima County Jail on $100,000 bail. Bruner is being held on 20 felony counts and on $100,000 bail. Charles Flowers is being held on 30 felony counts and $100,000 bail and Tyrel Flowers is being held on six felony counts and $50,000 bail.

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