One-Stop Shopping: Cops Say Tire Store Owner Linked to Robberies, Home Invasions and Cockfighting

How do folks do it these days?

You know, run a small business, keep a stable of thugs in line, figure out which home to invade next and still save energy for Saturday night's big cockfighting event?

Just thinking about all the work that police say went into operating a south Phoenix tire shop makes us pooped.

The entrepreneur at the apostrophically challenged "Brother's Tire's" at 10th Street and Broadway, Manuel Torres, 39, was arrested yesterday and is getting some rest now in jail, accused of links to a string of armed robberies and home invasions across the Valley.

We checked out the place this morning, long after the cops had left, and bumped into a few employees of the shop who say they know nothing about the alleged crimes. Behind them, past an open garage door, a rooster strutted about in a small cage.  

Phoenix police spokesman Luis Samudio tells New Times investigators are still mining the case, hoping to hit Torres and his associates with numerous charges.

Here's the news release Phoenix PD put out last night about this interesting case:


DR#:               2009-900346677

Location:        1010 E. Broadway

Suspect:         Manuel Torres, 39 years old Hispanic male

Phoenix Police detectives assigned to the Home Invasion and Kidnapping Task Force executed a search warrant of a Tire Business located at 1010 E. Broadway Road; reference an ongoing investigation of Armed Robbery and Home Invasion suspects.  Once the officers entered the business they located several items of evidence that also led them to believe that the business is participating in illegal gamecock fighting.


Numerous fighting roosters were found on the property in cages.  The Arizona Humane Society is assisting detectives in removing the roosters that will eventually be exterminated.  Several syringes and vitamin products that are commonly injected into the animals were also found on the property. According to the investigators, the rosters were all manicured and ready for cock fights.


Due to the hard work and surveillance of the Home Invasion Kidnapping Squad, they received information that the owner and the employees of the business have been involved in the organized criminal activity including armed robberies and Home invasions


Investigators also found several weapons, ballistic vest, cash and ammunition on the property.  These items were being used during the commission of their crimes.  Investigators also believe this organization has been involved in border related crimes including kidnappings around the valley.


The owner of the business was arrested in court today while facing other criminal charges and the search warrant was executed on his business


 Six occupants were in the business upon the execution of the search warrant, all believed to be illegally in the United States.


This is the most recent organization dismantled due to the efforts of the Task Force.