Two men were charged Monday with using a gun to rob at least two Salt Lake County businesses.
Phillip J. Francis, 31, was charged in 3rd Circuit Court with three separate counts of aggravated robbery. Richard M. Owens, 19, was charged with two separate counts of aggravated robbery.Francis also was charged with being an "habitual criminal" and will face additional jail time or fines if convicted.
The pair was arrested after the robbery of a Taco Time restaurant April 5. According to court documents, Francis told police "that he and Richard Owens had committed (the Taco Time) robbery." Police also found money taken from the restaurant in a car driven by Owens, the records said.
Law enforcement officials believe the duo may have robbed 15 to 18 businesses in Salt Lake County since Jan. 4.
The scenario was similar in most cases - a bandit covered his head with a white ski mask or pillow case and wore goggles over his eyes. He also wore a green army-type jacket and gloves and often snatched money from the drawers or registers of the businesses. Many of the robberies occurred as the businesses closed.
Both men were charged with robbing a Smith's Food store, 2135 S. 900 East, on March 15. Only Francis was charged with the March 2 robbery of a Payless Car Rental located at 1974 W. North Temple.