PD: Man accused of stealing density meters, stabbing gas station clerk

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - A quiet neighborhood was surrounded by heavy police presence. Now, a 25-year-old man is arrested and accused of stealing density meters from his job - meters that use radioactive energy.

Police say that just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning, Jared Trent Atkins stabbed a gas station clerk near the area of 3200 E. Indian School Road. Atkins, who's believed to be a regular at the gas station, fled the scene and the victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. He has non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials say that later that night, at 3 a.m., Atkins went to his place of employment at 3700 E. Broadway Road and stole three radiography inspection tools. He then fled the scene.

"We found out about 3 o'clock this morning," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department. "So approximately two hours later, this individual went to his place of business and committed a burglary in which he stole three density gauges."

Sgt. Thompson says those three tools are used for industrial radiography to inspect cracks in pipes and asphalt. Seven hours later, police and FBI agents waited for Atkins to return to his apartment.

"A federal officer came up and told us [to] either go back inside or leave," said neighbor Drew O'Neill. "I said, 'What would be safer?' and he said leave."

After hours of negotiating, Atkins surrendered. Police recovered the undamaged devices.

"None of them had been breached," Sgt. Thompson said. "None of the containers - so there was no danger to the community."

"I'm just glad to come home and the scene is cleared and hopefully we can go back to normal," O'Neill said. "It's a very, very calm neighborhood, which is very weird for me. [We] never see anything like this over here."

The clerk who was stabbed has non-life-threatening injuries.

Atkins has been booked into jail on aggravated assault and theft charges.