Multi-State Crime Spree Comes to an End in Citrus Heights

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CITRUS HEIGHTS-

Last Saturday, Heather Graves did something she's done one thousand times.

She went to the door at the pizza shop she manages to lock up for the night, but on Jan. 10 she saw something that made her think twice.

"A woman stepped out of the car and she asked, 'Are you guys closed for carryout?' which it happens all the time. So I told her, 'Yeah, we're closed,'" Graves, the general manager of the only Domino's in Citrus Heights, told FOX40.

But that relatively normal interaction quickly became a terrifying takeout operation.

"He got out, he said, 'Hold on I called. You guys said you were open,' and he kind of pushed his way toward me and said this is a robbery and he showed me his gun. He said I want all the money in the store."

Police now believe that crime couple have told robbery victims that same line at least 11 times in California and Colorado.

Thirty-three-year-old Michael Ortiz and 27-year-old Chanzie Cox are behind bars, but FOX40's not sharing their pictures because investigators are trying to pin down ID's in an alleged spree that may extend to four more states.

One of the open cases is in Sacramento.

After a busy day making pizza in Citrus Heights, Graves can't believe her slice of suspicion was confirmed.

So what was going through her mind when she saw the gun?

"I'm gonna completely do what he asked me to do, because it's not worth my life to get shot," she said.

Focused on compliance, she was startled when the gunman turned and suddenly became apologetic.

"Weirdly enough he apologized to me and told me thank you and he ran out."

As the robbers disappeared, Graves dissolved, and police went to work.

"We were able to get closed circuit TV footage from neighboring businesses," Citrus Heights Police Officer Anthony Boehle said.

The spotted getaway car, a silver Acura MDX, was possibly stolen from out of state.

It's drivers ran from a traffic stop the next day in Roseville.

"The pursuit came through our city, went down Auburn Boulevard across Greenback and into the county," said Boehle.

Cox was arrested while running away after the car crashed.

Thursday Ortiz was picked up at a hotel in Sacramento.

As for Graves, knowing her encounter may not have been one random robbery is sobering.

"It makes me think that because of that, something could have gone a lot worse because they were obviously professionals, you know?" Graves said. "And I'm, glad that I'm still alive."