PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Two popular bars were robbed at gunpoint about an hour apart on Tuesday night. The bars are not far from one another and they cater to the LGBT community.
Phoenix police responded to Pat O's Bunkhouse near 7th Avenue and Indian School around 9:30 p.m. for a reported armed robbery. They say two men approached people getting out of their car in the parking lot.
The victims said one of the men was armed and the suspects took a cell phone from one of the victims.
An hour later, police responded to a second similar robbery at Los Diablos near Indian School and 16th Street.
Victims told police two men entered the patio area and demanded money and cell phones. One of the suspects in this case was also armed.
Both of these bars are frequented by the LGBT community, however, police say at this point, there's no indication that these businesses were targeted for that reason.
Tricia Monell, a bartender at Stacy's at Melrose believes so.
"Absolutely targeted, absolutely, and I don't know why. I don't know if they're trying to prove a point.. I don't know what it is, but absolutely. Two gay bars in the same night. On a Tuesday night of all nights, you know, within an hour of each other, we feel targeted."
Monell says these armed robberies have been the topic of conversation and putting people on high alert.
"We look at things completely differently now because of Pulse. We're all a lot more aware then we ever have been before," she said.
Monell says because of the recent events, if people see something, they should always say something.
"Anyone that's suspicious let us know. If you're uncomfortable about anything let us know. Come to us, we can handle it, but communication is key between bars, between people, between the community, all over."
Even though the armed robberies did not happen at the bar where Monell works, she tells us safety precautions have been put in place. No bartender will be closing the bar by themselves until further notice.
The suspects from both incidents are still on the loose.
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