A man has pleaded not guilty to charges of armed robbery in connection with a Jan. 3 incident at Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale.
The next court date for Michael Hough, 35, is scheduled for March 11.
His wife, Shaashana Hough, 33, is also being held on suspicion of armed robbery and aggravated assault.
Glendale police said the couple was in the process of shoplifting a DeWalt 18-volt cordless drill in a Sears store at the mall.
Michael Hough removed the security packaging from the item and walked out of the store without paying for the drill, according to a probable cause statement.
As they were leaving from the upper level, an unarmed loss prevention officer tried to stop them.
Shaashana Hough pulled a gun out and pointed it at the loss prevention officer, according to Glendale police spokesman Sgt. Jay O'Neill. The gun was later found on a nearby roadway by a person who called police. The weapon was later determined to be a plastic toy gun.
A 61-year-old Glendale man was sitting in a vehicle outside the mall, waiting for his wife in Sears, and saw the gun pointed at the loss prevention officer and got out of his vehicle to help. As he was walking toward the suspects, he saw his 64-year-old wife walking out of the store.
"Fearing for the safety of his wife and the loss prevention officer, the male fired his handgun an unknown number of times toward the armed suspect," O'Neill said.
The suspects fled on a black motorcycle. A sport bike matching the description was found at a nearby apartment complex in the 17600 block of North 79th Avenue. Officers were able to match the motorcycle's registration to Michael Hough.
Glendale police said they did an extensive search of the area near 83rd Avenue and Bell Road but were not able to locate the suspects.
Police violent crimes detectives from Glendale used surveillance video footage and began to follow up on investigative leads.
The next day, with the help of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Violent Crimes squad, Michael and Shaashana Hough were taken into custody in the area of 26th Avenue and Deer Valley Road in Phoenix.
During a law enforcement interview, Michael Hough said he intended to steal an item from the Sears store at the mall and exchange it for money in order to buy food, a court document stated. Before his arrest, he said he sold the drill for $50, court paperwork stated.
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