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Armed Robber Caught in the Act : A 27-year-old Arizona man who went on a seven-week crime spree—sometimes violently robbing up to four gas station convenience stores in a single night—will be spending the rest of his life behind bars thanks to local and federal law enforcement collaboration, a stolen lottery ticket, and a sharp-eyed off-duty police officer.

From late December 2015 through early February 2016, Anthony Hamilton robbed 36 gas station convenience stores at gunpoint, according to the indictments against him. Brandishing a handgun and threatening to use it, Hamilton—often with an accomplice—stole money from the stores and the employees. The robberies occurred late at night in nearly every city in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

“They would enter wearing generic robbery clothing—hoodie, gloves, dark pants, and bandanas covering their faces,” said Special Agent Chris Maffei, who investigated the case from the FBI’s Phoenix Division. “Handguns drawn, they would demand money.” On two occasions, they made frightened employees withdraw money from their own accounts using ATMs inside the stores.

 Because the robberies were occurring so quickly in so many different jurisdictions, multiple police departments were trying to track down the robbers. That’s where the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force came in. The multi-agency task force, established nearly a decade ago, investigates bank robberies and other violent crimes. Read more

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Armed Robber Caught in the Act : A 27-year-old Arizona man who went on a seven-week crime spree—sometimes violently robbing up to four gas station convenience stores in a single night—will be spending the rest of his life behind bars thanks to local and federal law enforcement collaboration, a stolen lottery ticket, and a sharp-eyed off-duty police officer.

From late December 2015 through early February 2016, Anthony Hamilton robbed 36 gas station convenience stores at gunpoint, according to the indictments against him. Brandishing a handgun and threatening to use it, Hamilton—often with an accomplice—stole money from the stores and the employees. The robberies occurred late at night in nearly every city in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

“They would enter wearing generic robbery clothing—hoodie, gloves, dark pants, and bandanas covering their faces,” said Special Agent Chris Maffei, who investigated the case from the FBI’s Phoenix Division. “Handguns drawn, they would demand money.” On two occasions, they made frightened employees withdraw money from their own accounts using ATMs inside the stores.

 Because the robberies were occurring so quickly in so many different jurisdictions, multiple police departments were trying to track down the robbers. That’s where the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force came in. The multi-agency task force, established nearly a decade ago, investigates bank robberies and other violent crimes.