PHOENIX - A former Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy has been arrested, accused of committing several robberies around the Valley last Sunday.
Scott Michael Walters was taken into custody on Wednesday in North Phoenix.
Walters is a suspect in robberies that took place in Phoenix, Peoria, Scottsdale and Tempe on May 24.
Police said a suspect showed a handgun in two of the robberies, the first of which was committed at 3:40 a.m. and the last at 2:15 p.m.
The locations included banks, convenience stores and a drug store.
Phoenix police sent out a release to the media in hopes that someone would recognize him.
"This appeared desperate. We knew that he was armed and we worried that he would become trapped in some way in one of his (robbery) attempts and that some of our citizens could get hurt," said Phoenix police spokesman James Holmes.
According to court documents, Walters faces one count of attempted robbery, two counts of armed robbery, narcotic drug possession for sale, narcotic drug violation and drug paraphernalia possession.
About 2.5 grams of heroin were recovered and a co-defendant implicated Walters in the use and sales of drugs, documents said.
An anonymous source told police that Walters had recently lost his job with MCSO and when detectives showed surveillance photos of the suspect to two MCSO employees, they reportedly identified the suspect as Walters.
When police went into Walters' house with a warrant, the boots and glasses believed to have been used in the robberies were found. Also found were drugs, drug paraphernalia and a ledger documenting the sales of drugs.
"there was indications that he was in possession of, and possibly selling, narcotics for some time," said Holmes.
According to the court documents, Walters denied any involvement in the crimes but did admit to being a heroin addict.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Walters was hired as a deputy in 2004 and was a good employee. However, Arpaio said after Walters shot and killed a suspect in 2010, his performance changed.
Walters was fired in April of this year.
"Our people did everything they could to try and rehabilitate him. Evidentially it wasn't enough," said Arpaio.