PHOENIX - A criminal gang being run from prison is responsible for the robbery of 20 Subway restaurants in nine cities in six weeks.
Mesa police report that from October 5 until November 10 Mark Torres managed a gang that robbed Subway sandwich shops in nine cities from Gilbert to Goodyear.
Police say on November 10 they were watching when a suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Israel Michael Perez, came out of a Subway near Power and McDowell roads.
He ran towards a vehicle, who left without him when seeing police chasing after him. Israel ditched clothing, a hat and a mask that police say were seen in surveillance video, of some of the armed robberies.
Police tracked the car to 27-year-old Rachel Connie Perez. Police used cell phone records to show Rachel in the area of the shops, during the robberies. One of her contacts was Israel, whose phone was also tracked to the same locations.
On Israel's social media page, he is allegedly seen wearing the same mask that he used during some of the robberies. Police say DNA from the discarded mask was matched to him.
Police say Rachel is the girlfriend of Mark Torres, a Department of Corrections inmate. They say, in recorded conversations, Rachel is heard reporting to Torres that, "She was handling business and making money."
Officials say Rachel would deposit money from the robberies into Torres' inmate account, and he would direct her about "managing the crew."
Police say some of these conversations even took place during the robberies.
Rachel and Israel were both arrested for armed robbery on November 20 at different locations.