A man and woman are suspected of robbing three stores in west Wichita in little more than an hour early Tuesday morning, police said – all while their two young children slept in the back of the alleged getaway vehicle.
At about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, a man holding a gun walked into the X-Citement Video at 3909 W. Pawnee, Lt. James Espinoza said. He took cash from the register, a smoking bong, sex toys and a game before leaving on foot.
A law enforcement officer responding to a different call reported that a gold Tahoe or Suburban was acting suspiciously in that same area, Espinoza said.
About 45 minutes after the first robbery, what was reportedly the same man walked into the QuikTrip at 2510 W. Pawnee, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money from the register and two cartons of cigarettes, Espinoza said. The clerk complied and the robber left.
A half-hour later, an armed suspect entered the Petro America at 2838 W. Central and left with cash and two packs of cigarettes. A police officer saw a gold Tahoe near Meridian and Second and, after waiting for another officer to arrive as back-up, pulled the vehicle over.
Officers found the same amount of cash as that taken in the three robberies, Espinoza said, as well as merchandise matching what had been stolen. They also found a 10-month-old girl and 5-year-old boy asleep in the back seat of the Tahoe.
The 26-year-old man who allegedly robbed the stores and the 23-year-old woman who drove the Tahoe were arrested. The children were placed in protective custody by police.
“This situation could have been so much worse,” Espinoza said, especially if the suspects had fired shots at officers or attempted to flee at high speeds.
The man is also suspected of robbing the QuikTrip at Douglas and Seneca early Saturday morning, Espinoza said. The woman who was arrested is pregnant, he said.