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A 20-year-old man charged with six Circle K robberies around Phoenix demanded $5 lottery tickets, ate Slim Jims and snatched cigarettes.

He was identified as Michael Samson by the Phoenix Police Department.

It all started May 11 at 3:31 a.m. at a Circle K near 32nd Street and East Greenway Road where Samson walked into the store, pulled a gun on a clerk and demanded money, court records said. After the clerk gave him the money from the register, he then took a Slim Jim and walked out, court records said.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on May 11, Samson walked into a Circle K at East Bell Road and North Tatum Boulevard, grabbed a Slim Jim, walked up to the counter and pulled out a “large black revolver,” court records said. He left the store with five packs of menthol cigarettes after demanding them from the clerk, court records said.

Just over an hour later, Samson walked into a third Circle K near 44th Street and Union Hills Drive and pulled out a “large black revolver,” pointing it at the cashier after taking another Slim Jim, court records said.

After another hour had gone by, Samson walked into a fourth Circle K near East Cactus Road and 32nd Street and left after “removing a large black revolver from his waistband,” court records said, “pointed it at the clerk and demanded all the currency.” Samson walked out with $30 and a fountain drink, court records said. 

Thirty minutes and 13 miles away, Samson walked into a fifth Circle K near 27th Avenue and Deer Valley Road, again pulled out a black revolver and demanded money, said court records, which added that the clerk at this location “panicked and ran into the employee office behind the counter.” Samson walked out this store with only a Slim Jim, court records said. 

Two hours later, Samson then went into a sixth Circle K near Tatum Boulevard and East Thunderbird Road, where he again pulled out what looked like the same gun and demanded money, court records said. Samson left the store with the $60 the clerk had in the register and a Slim Jim, court records said.

This clerk had been able to get a description of the vehicle Samson was driving for police, court records said.

Phoenix police said in court documents that they were able to match witness statements and use surveillance footage from the Circle K stores to identify Samson. When he showed up at a seventh Circle K near 26th Avenue and Thunderbird Road, officers were able to conduct a traffic stop, Phoenix police said in court documents.

Samson later confessed that he had robbed six of the seven Circle K stores he was at, court documents said. “Michael said that he did have a revolver gun when he did the armed robbers,” court documents said, “but the gun was not real, that it only looked real.” 

According to court documents, at the end of his confession, Samson wrote an apology letter to the victims:

“Dear to whoever this may concern, I’m extremely sorry for scaring you and probably scaring you for life. I’m deeply sorry for the fear I caused you and all the pain that follows. I hope that someday you can find it in the kindness of your heart to forgive me. I didn’t plan on hurting or scaring you. I just decided that it was the only way of life, until I found a better way. I have now learned that obeying the rules gets you a lot farther then disobeying them. It sucks I had to learn this the hard way, but at least I learned. Like I said though, I really hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for what I’ve done wrong.” — Michael Samson

Samson will be back in court May 18 and is being held on a $5 million bond. 

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