Phoenix Man Busted After Robbing Three Stores in 20 Minutes, Getting His Car Stuck in Mud, and Brief Swim

A Phoenix man was arrested this afternoon after robbing three stores in 20 minutes, getting his car stuck in the mud, and leading police on a foot chase that ended in a nearby lake.

According to Phoenix police Detective James Holmes, 20-year-old John Michael Krol robbed a Kentucky Fried Chicken, a Circle K, and a Quick Trip convenience store in under 20 minutes and was arrested minutes later while swimming in the lake at Cesar Chavez Park.

We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.


Krol, Holmes says, robbed the KFC on Central Avenue and Baseline about noon. An officer in the area was about to respond to the robbery when she saw a car matching the suspect's description speeding out of a Circle K convenience store parking lot a few blocks west of the KFC robbery.

The officer began following the erratic driver but lost him as he weaved in and out of traffic.

"He could have very well gotten away, but the few bucks he got from the Circle K and the KFC apparently wasn't enough," Holmes points out.

As the officer originally in pursuit of the suspect car continued in the direction the erratic driver had been traveling, she noticed the same car speeding out of a Quick Trip parking lot.

As dumb luck should have it, the Quick Trip was also robbed.

So, the officer began to follow the suspect yet again. After a brief pursuit, Krol tried to cut across a dirt lawn at Cesar Chavez Park, only to find that on this day that dirt was mud.

Krol's car got stuck, but rather than just give up, he decided to lead police on a short foot chase that ended when Krol jumped in the park's Alvord Lake.

As Detective Holmes notes, you have to consider the size of Alvord Lake when trying to understand Krol's thought process -- it's not exactly Lake Superior; it's more of a pond.

After a brief stand-off with police, Krol realized that he wasn't swimming off into the sunset as he may have originally planned. He gave up and was arrested by Phoenix police, who now, Holmes says, have to send in divers to try to recover the weapon Krol used in the robberies.

"The only thing that would have made it better was if he had come out of the lake with the money in one hand and some chicken in the other," Holmes adds.    

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James King
Contact: James King