Box cutter and hammer used in armed robberies

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 11:01:03-05

A suspected burglar and admitted drug user has just been busted again, this time for robbing two store clerks.

Court documents allege on December 28, 52-year-old Rydell Lee used a hammer to threaten the clerk at the Dollar Store at 7th Avenue and Buckeye. Lee took the entire cash register and the $300 that was inside.

Police say the very next day, he robbed a Fry's store near 51st Avenue and Baseline, this time using a box cutter to threaten the clerk and get away with $70.

Witnesses say, in each case Lee fled in a black four-door Mercedes. After his second robbery, a store employee managed to get a license plate number. 

Phoenix police officers tracked the plate and found Lee on January 13. Lee denied involvement in the crimes, saying he was smoking crack and someone else must have taken the car, police said.

In addition to the burglary charges he was already facing, Lee will now face two more armed robbery charges.