Arizona Walmart employees rob store to fund sex change

PHOENIX Wed Sep 7, 2011 7:40pm EDT

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Two Walmart employees robbed an Arizona store where they worked, stealing $45,000, and planned to buy a car and fund a sex change operation with the proceeds, police said on Wednesday.

Police in Prescott, around 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, arrested Spencer Cullen, 23, and Adriano Altiveros, 19, on Friday. They were accused of stealing over $45,000 in cash from the Walmart store in Prescott.

"Cullen told detectives that ... her motive for stealing the money was to go forward with a sex change operation that she had wanted," Prescott police spokesman Lt. Andy Reinhardt told Reuters by telephone.

"I don't believe that she had made arrangements at that point, but I do believe that she had already started the process (to become a man)," he added.

Reinhardt said video surveillance showed that Altiveros distracted cashiers so Cullen could let herself into the locked cash office using a key.

After the burglary, Cullen gave the cash to Altiveros, who then used $22,000 to buy a Toyota Supra car from a private seller in the Phoenix area.

The two suspects were being held in custody. Reinhardt said that all but 31 cents of the stolen money had been recovered.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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