May 2, 2012 7:22 PM

Sheriffs arrest man after south side crime spree this morning

TUCSON - A suspect was arrested this morning with the help of a Pima County Sheriff's K-9 after a south side crime spree in which in allegedly stole a car, stole a purse, and held a victim at knifepoint.

At about 7:30 a.m. this morning, deputies responded to a call from the 5400 block of South Bryant Avenue, just southwest of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Deputies were told that a white man had entered the home, held a knife to the throat of one the occupants, and demanded a vehicle. The victim did not have a vehicle, and the suspect left on foot, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department news release.

He was then seen running though yards in the neighborhood, still armed with a knife, the release states. Deputies saturated the area, and Los Ninos Elementary School was briefly locked down as a precaution. A Sheriff's motor unit and K-9, assisted by a Sahuarita Police Department officer, took the man into custody in a commercial yard near Drexel and Arcadia.

The suspect was identified as 33-year-old Benjamin Michael Vanolphen. Deputies later learned that Vanolphen appeared to have stolen a car from a resident in the 5800 block of South Garrett Avenue last night and drove it to the victim's location, as the stolen car was located near 5400 South Bryant Avenue. Deputies also learned the Vanolphen had allegedly entered another house nearby and stolen a purse, according to the news release.


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