There's a certain romance about lovers who commit crimes as they cross the country, Bonnie-and-Clyde style.
But it's not quite as thrilling a concept when the targets aren't banks or other high-value targets, but fast-food restaurants.
Which brings us to our latest Schmucks of the Week: Chanzie Cox and Michael Ortiz, who are accused of committing as many as eleven robberies across four states, including Colorado, with a particular focus on joints specializing in discount grub.
The local angle on the couple, who hail from Sacramento, California, comes courtesy of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, which reports about a Christmas Eve job at a local Outback Steakhouse.
The Outback Steakhouse outside Grand Junction.
An arrest affidavit cited by the Sentinel quotes witnesses who said a couple later identified as Ortiz, 33, and Cox, 28, arrived around 11 p.m. (closing time) and asked to speak with a manager.
One witness claimed that Cox had come in first to take a look around, then slipped out to leave the heavy lifting to her beau.
When the manager arrived, Ortiz allegedly pointed to his waistband — his way of letting him know he was armed — and demanded money...and there was plenty of it. The pair are said to have gotten away with more than $2,000.
A subsequent bulletin led to a report of a similar robbery on December 28 in Silverthorne. The location of the crime: an Old Chicago.
That was followed by another offense linked to the pair — the December 23 robbery of a Durango-area Domino's Pizza.
Are you sensing a theme?
Another photo of Chanzie Cox from her Facebook page.
In the coming days, the scene shifted back to California. On January 10, according to Fox40 in Sacramento, the manager of (you guessed it) a Domino's in the community of Citrus Heights was held up at gunpoint by a man authorities believe was Ortiz.
He was actually sorta polite, she told the station: As he ran off with his ill-gotten gains, he apologized and said thank you.
Ortiz was undoubtedly less appreciative in regard to what happened next. Using surveillance footage from near the Citrus Heights Domino's, police spotted a car that had been reported stolen in Frisco — the one in Colorado, not the city in Cali that uses the term as a nickname.
Before long, the cops zeroed in, and after the couple allegedly ran a traffic stop in another area burg, Roseville, a chase ensued, ending in a crash.
Cox allegedly tried to flee on foot but was soon captured. Ortiz initially got away, but was later found in a Sacramento hotel.
At last report, the pair were awaiting extradition to Colorado to be advised of charges here — and they may be traveling quite a bit for the same reason, given the range of accusations against them. In Colorado alone, they conspiracy, aggravated robbery, menacing and theft.
Presumably, though, the Outbacks, Old Chicagos and Domino's along the way will be safe.
Below, see booking photos for Cox and Ortiz, followed by a Fox40 report.
Sacramento Police Department
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Sacramento Police Department