Edinburg residents accused of robbing 2 gas stations in 30 minutes

Edinburg police arrested two residents on Saturday who they accuse of robbing two gas stations on Closner within just 30 minutes.

Police arrested 26-year-old Stephanie Ann Muñoz and 21-year-old Fabian Manny Zavala early Saturday morning after employees at the stores reported a knife-wielding man in a face mask robbed the establishments.

Zavala is charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, assault on a peace officer/judge and taking a weapon from an officer.

The allegations of assault on a peace officer and taking a weapon from an officer aren’t immediately clear. He remains jailed on a total of $230,000 in bonds.

Muñoz, who police say drove a getaway vehicle, is charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and remains jailed on $100,000 in bonds.

The investigation began after police were called to the Stripes at 721 N. Closner on July 25 at 6:08 a.m.

Employees told the officer a man went into the bathroom and later ran out with a knife toward the back of the counter, holding the employees at knife-point while demanding money.

“(An employee) will testify he opened the register and the male grabbed the tray out from the register and left running southwest from the store,” a probable cause affidavit stated.

That man was later identified as Zavala, according to police.

The employees told the officer the man ran off with $118.10, a probable cause affidavit stated.

Meanwhile, another officer spoke to an employee at the Stripes at 801 N. Closner, who said the same man had robbed that store.

Police say they caught up with a man matching the description given by the employees in the 500 block of North Sixth Street, who they later identified as Zavala.

According to a probable cause affidavit, police read Zavala his Miranda warnings and Zavala admitted to his involvement, but said he did not have the cash register tray.

Police, however, say they recovered a pocket knife matching the description of the knife used in the robberies.

Investigators also located a blue Chevrolet Equinox matching the vehicle seen leaving the gas station at 801 N. Closner in surveillance video after the robbery parked on the east side of 619 W. Schunior.

Authorities saw a red face mask in the vehicle and investigators found the black cash register tray on the railroad just east of where the vehicle was parked, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Investigators tracked down Muñoz, the vehicle’s owner, who said she was driving when Zavala ran out of the Stripes with the cash register tray.

mreagan@themonitor.com