Burglary suspects smash and grab items at Sun City pawn shop

They used a van as a battering ram to break in the store's front door, but they didn't get away with much. FOX 10's Linda Williams reports.

- Some burglary suspects are on the run following an early morning smash and grab. The men used a van as a battering ram to break in the pawn shop's front door, but they didn't get away with much.

It was not the type of scene you expect to see unfolding in a retirement community like Sun City.

"They just tried to smash through the whole thing apparently. They thought they were going to fill that van up or why bring that stolen van," said Jay Giancola, who lives nearby.

A smash and grab at Arizona EZ-Pawn brought out the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office SWAT team after the burglary alarm went off at 4:00 a.m.

"We were there within minutes. We weren't sure if someone was inside or if suspects were there. There were weapons in there, so we secured the area. We had our SWAT team secure the whole area," said MCSO's Detective Doug Matteson.

No suspects were found inside the store near 94th Avenue and Bell Road. The burglars managed to grab about $1,000 in watches before taking off on foot.

As for the van they used to ram through the front door, it turned out to be stolen -- taken from a church in Avondale late Monday night.

"Not sure if that was the plan.. back it in, leave it and have a getaway car around the corner, change the trail on them a little bit. We're looking into all avenues on this," said Matteson.

All of this SWAT activity didn't seem to phase some residents we talked to in the retirement community.

"This is one of the safest communities in the state.. I moved here three years ago from Chicago. I'll take this any day of the week," said a bystander.

UPDATE: Deputies say Erickberto Hernandez was caught Tuesday evening after trying to run away from MCSO K9 "Yass." He's believed to be the only suspect involved in the burglary.


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