Police officer, fire fighter and palm tree trimmer aside, one of the most dangerous jobs in Tucson has to be the Circle K clerk.

In addition to demanding customers and folks who try to rip off a Ho Ho or two, these poor clerks are the targets of a steady stream of robberies and other crimes.

Actual crime scene photo/PCSD

Circle K robbery Jan. 17/PCSD

The most recent was Sunday around 6:30 a.m. when two guys jumped over the counter at a Circle K at Orange Grove and Camino De La Tierra.

The two dudes made the clerk stand in the corner while they piled cartons of cigarettes into trash bags, taking off with a haul worth several thousand bucks. Wonder if they got any Marlboro.

The only photos of the suspects show off their creative disguises. Maybe someone will recognize their shoes.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department news release expands a bit on their descriptions:

“The suspects are described as two Hispanic or Caucasian males, 5’7” to 5’9” tall, approximately 20 to 25 years old. One of the suspects had a black Diamond Backs baseball cap; short sleeve white T-shirt over a long sleeved shirt, black shorts, and black slip-on canvas deck shoes. His face was covered with a scarf. The second suspect had a blue zip-up hooded jacket, black baseball hat, black Converse low tops with white shoes, laces and a dark collared shirt with multi-colored stripes. His face was covered with a mask.”

Circle K robbery Jan. 17/PCSD

Circle K robbery Jan. 17/PCSD

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Although this particular robbery was in the county, we can get the general gist of how many convenience store robberies go down in town with Tucson police statistics.

There were five robberies so far this year, 124 in 2009 and 141 in 2008. Please note these stats include all convenience stores and Quik Marts are another prime target.

But Circle K crimes seem to stick in our minds. A brief dive into news archives surfaces with the following:

Daniel Tarango, 18, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down by a Circle K security guard trying to stop Tarango’s friends’ botched shoplifting attempt on June 3.

Four Tucson teens, one 15-year-old and three 16-year-olds, were arrested last August for their convenience store armed robbery crime spree that had started back in March. Most of their holdups were Quik Marts, but they hit a couple Circle Ks.

A 35-year-old woman and her boyfriend were arrested about a year ago for a string of convenience store armed robberies. Police later found out their gun was designed to only fire blanks and their biggest haul from all nine stores was less than $1,000. Might as well get a job – that would be far less trouble. Their targets included two Circle Ks, five Quik Marts, a 7-11 and a Smoke ‘M shop.

Robberies are not the only hazards surrounding Circle K. The place also seems to attract gunfire.

Circle K robbery Jan. 17/PCSD

Circle K robbery Jan. 17/PCSD

Joshua Parsons, 19, was shot and killed Aug. 17, 2008, while sitting in a car outside of a Southwest Side Circle K. Police say Parsons was doing nothing wrong.

The car the teen was in had been pulling out of the lot when someone in a nearby SUV and a man coming out of the store both started shooting. One of the man’s bullets hit Parsons. Alejandro R. Bencomo, 21, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Roy David Fierros, 17, was killed in a gang-related shooting outside a Circle K the afternoon of Oct. 13, 2008.

Fierros had been inside the convenience store, at the corner of South 12th Avenue and Drexel Road, when at least three guys came up to him and a verbal confrontation ensued. The argument escalated into gunfire, with Fierros being shot outside the store.

Police said the three men and Fierros were from rival gangs.

Sometimes the blessings of working from home never cease.


What do you think?

Have you ever worked a dangerous job? What was it?

What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve encountered at your job? Gunfire? Angry customers?

Would you or have you ever worked in a Circle K or other convenience store?