Nov 18, 2013 6:19 PM by Lupita Murillo
TUCSON - Convenience stores are getting hit hard by thieves. Tucson Police say not only are the stores getting shoplifted, but the parking lots are being used for drug deals and prostitution.
TPD has put together a plan that's targeting these criminals. The Community Response Teams are conducting special deployments. It's called the Convenience Store Crime Reduction Effort.
Sgt. Chris Dennison and his squad are one of four throughout the city setting up on convenience stores. His squad is responsible for Team 2 or Operations Division West. "In this area we do see a lot of beer skips and thefts."
On this particular night there wasn't a thirst for beer skips but plenty for drugs. Sgt. Dennison and his crew follow two vehicles out of the parking lot they suspect were involved in a drug deal.
They catch one driver speeding, a marked unit pulls him over.
After checking out the driver, TPD finds the man is driving on a suspended license. He also lied to Sgt. Dennison. He first tells him, he was coming from home, when Sgt. Dennison asks "Who did you meet with at the Circle K? " The driver responds, "Who did I meet with at the Circle K, what do you mean?" Sgt. Dennison spells it out, " Well you got into the back seat of a car you were in there for a short period of time and then you got out and got into your vehicle and left Circle K at Grant and Oracle. " The driver responds, " Yeah, yeah, I was just saying hi to my friend. "
Officers search the car, and find prescription pills he admits buying at the Circle K parking lot from his friend. He's placed under arrest for driving on a suspended license, and his car is impounded.
The friends he met with at the Circle K are also stopped in a different area. There's three of them, including a woman. All three are arrested on drug charges. Officers find prescription pills and marijuana. They're cited and released.
The message is clear, Tucson Police is sweeping up the criminal element, making it a safer environment for the neighborhood and the public. Sgt. Dennison adds, "realistically, in the end what we want to see happen is we want to see an improved quality of life."
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