ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque woman wearing a bogus beard is accused by police of robbing several stores around the city over the past three weeks.
Tamala Cole, 52, was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Friday and faces seven counts of robbery with a deadly weapon in connection with robberies committed between Aug. 1 and 22.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, Cole began the robberies by holding up Faithworks Gifts and Books near Menaul and Carlisle NE on Aug. 1.
Police say Cole walked into the store wearing all black, big white sunglasses and a “fake brown beard” and took nearly $600 from the cashier at gunpoint.
In the two weeks that followed, police say Cole robbed Boba Tea Company and Nothing Bundt Cakes shops and attempted to rob a CVS Pharmacy in much the same fashion. During the Boba Tea robbery, Cole disguised her voice by talking like a man, the court document reads.
Detectives were able to trace the getaway cars in the cases to Cole and her husband, finding both cars parked at a northeast Albuquerque motel on Aug. 15.
Police say they placed a tracking device on the cars and had a surveillance team track them as Cole committed another two robberies.
The complaint said Cole robbed a GNC store and Subway restaurant on Aug. 18 and detectives were able to use the tracking equipment to confirm that one of the vehicles had gone to both locations.
Police say the surveillance team on Aug. 22 watched as Cole covered her license plate, cased businesses and eventually robbed a Sally Beauty store near Interstate 40 and San Mateo NE.
Police followed Cole after the robbery and arrested her at a nearby hotel, according to the court document. She refused to speak with police.