Phoenix Tinder Date Turns Into Armed Robbery and Multi-Day Police Pursuit

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Crystal Hulsey and Jose Sandoval Jaquez allegedly robbed a victim after posing as a woman named "Sonya" online before stealing his car and fleeing from the police before their arrest.

Two suspects involved in a supposed Tinder date-turned-armed robbery have been arrested, according to authorities.

According to local reports, on September 19 Phoenix Police officers responded to a call about an armed robbery. When they arrived on the scene, the victim told the officers he had agreed to meet a woman named “Sonya,” who he had corresponded with on the dating app Tinder.

He and Sonya made plans to meet at the Embassy Suites hotel in Phoenix on September 17, according to local outlet Fox 10. The victim shared that when he entered the hotel, he was directed to the woman's room and was greeted inside by two suspects, according to the outlet.

The police report stated that the male suspect pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded his property, according to the outlet. 

According to local outlet CBS 5, the victim handed over his cellphone and ID cards in addition to his personal information, including his social media accounts, PIN codes, and his bank account information.

Authorities said the suspects then told the victim to drive them to a Chase Bank location near the hotel, according to the outlet. The police report stated that, "While they drove his car to the bank, the unknown male continued to have the gun out and provide instructions for the victim," according to the Fox 10.

Court records stated that after leaving the bank, the suspects took off with the victim’s red Scion and withdrew an additional $2,100 from his bank account using online apps, according to CBS 5. 

"The victim stated $900 was taken from Chase Bank on Sept. 17 from the drive through and a total of $3,000 had been taken from his account since the initial incident,” according to authorities. 

On September 25, the victim's vehicle and a handgun were found by the Las Vegas Police Department, according to the outlet. 

The victim was able to provide bank statements that showed Zelle and Cash App withdrawals from his account containing partial usernames, and investigators found the usernames matched profiles belonging to Crystal Hulsey, 33, and Jose Sandoval Jaquez, 32, who were identified as the suspects, according to CBS 5.

According to the Fox 10, Hulsey and Jaquez took the victim’s car to California and Las Vegas, where they fled from the police, ultimately leaving the stolen car and getting a ride back to Phoenix, according to the outlet.

The week the victim’s car was recovered, an ad for an escort was found online with Hulsey's phone number, per the outlet. Phoenix Police officers used this information to set up a location to meet with the woman, per the outlet.

While waiting for the woman to show up, authorities identified Hulsey near a La Quinta Inn in a Nissan Rogue that Jaquez was driving. The couple fled the scene when they suspected they were being watched, according to CBS 5.

"The Nissan Rogue passengers stopped in front of a vehicle and made an oncoming vehicle stop,” according to the authorities. “The passengers exited the vehicle and assaulted the driver of the other vehicle and pulled the driver out of the car. The two suspects got into the vehicle and drove away.” 

In their attempt to escape, the suspects drove on the wrong side of the highway and collided with another vehicle, attempting to carjack them as well, according to CBS 5.

However, by this time, a "Department of Public Safety helicopter landed and took the suspects into custody in Happy Jack,” according to authorities.

During an interview, Jaquez admitted to grabbing a man out of a car and said his girlfriend came with him, according to Fox 10.

In the police report, Jaquez stated that they drove all over the Valley and ended up in the woods, that he tried to steal another car but got arrested, and then identified himself in photos at the Embassy Suites, according to the outlet. 

"Jose stated he knew this would come back to get him," according to the authorities.

According to the local reports, Hulsey and Jaquez were booked on charges of assault, armed robbery with a deadly weapon, robbery, and two counts of vehicle theft.

Hulsey, who had missed a court date on September 23 during this evasion in relation to a previous incident, is also facing drug-related charges, per court documents. Hulsey is being held on a $6,500 bond and set for a court appearance on October 5, according to court documents. 

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