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Looking back at 12 of the most-read stories of 2016

Taken on Nov. 14, 2016. (Photo: Trish Van Housen/Special to 12 News)

Taken on Nov. 14, 2016. (Photo: Trish Van Housen/Special to 12 News) less

As 2016 winds down, it's natural to look back at the year gone by.

We're doing the same ourselves, checking back on some of our biggest stories of a jam-packed year.

Here's what we found:

Caught on Camera: Sniper saves toddler

An estranged husband broke into his wife's home and grabbed her 2-year-old daughter. The mother escaped the home with her three other young children but the husband held the toddler hostage until a precision sniper found an open shot.

Dancing police officer nails Beyonce's 'Formation' at Virginia pep rally

For someone who learned the dance routine the night before his performance, Deuntay Diggs rocked the pep rally with some moves from Queen Bey herself.

Birthday party marred by swastika-decorated cupcakes

Two girls at a birthday party for a Jewish girl in Paradise Valley decorated a cupcake with frosting in the shape of a swastika. The girls told the birthday girl's mother that they did it to "be funny," but it certainly did not come off as intended if that's the case.

We asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes

In hopes of determining how people can protect themselves from burglary, 12 News sister station KGW went straight to the source: Those breaking in. They learned what types of processes burglars go through to decide how and when to enter a home and how they determine where to search for valuables.

Glendale brothers bet big, cash in on Hatchimals craze

We've seen this holiday season just how crazy some people have gone over Hatchimals. Mike and Stan Zappa cashed in after spending $5,000 buying them in October. By the time Black Friday rolled around, most stores were sold out of the toys.

No, NASA hasn't changed your zodiac sign

People started freaking out when a story went around the internet saying that NASA had added another zodiac sign, changing many people's signs. But it wasn't NASA that made the decision - it actually goes back about 3,000 years to the Babylonian calendar.

8 benefits to your Costco membership you may not have known about

Anyone with a Costco card knows about some benefits at the store (namely the plethora of free samples) but there are many other ways to save at the bulk superstore. Whether it's taking advantage of pricing codes or booking a cheaper vacation, you're bound to find a new money-saving trick.

Driver faces attempted murder charges after hitting 3 Phoenix officers

A man tried to run over three Phoenix police officers outside a QT gas station in September. It was the first day on the job for one of the officers. A sergeant suffered a broken leg and another officer suffered a head injury.

VA cancer patient secretly records doctor visit

A veteran cancer patient shared a secret recording of his visit to the Veteran's Affairs clinic in Gilbert. Retired Sgt. 1st Class Steve Cooper has been critical of the agency, alleging it failed to diagnose his late-stage prostate cancer. He recorded a visit during which he aimed to get a referral for outside specialists.

Maricopa County's primary election disaster

The county decreased the number of polling places for the primary from 200 in 2012 to 60 this year, leading to wait times of five hours for some voters. The primary election likely led to the outster of Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell in the general election.

November Supermoon was the biggest in 70 years

2016 may have been the Year of the Supermoon, and Nov. 14's was the biggest we've seen in seven decades. It seemed that every month had a supermoon, but that was the most super one. If you missed it, don't worry too much -- you'll only have to wait 18 years for the next one.

PHOTOS: November Supermooon

Arizona newborn and grandma, born exactly 100 years apart, meet

What's the best gift to receive for a person's 100th birthday? One Valley woman has a pretty good case that a great-great grandson is in the running. Dorothy Martell got to meet Weston Alexander Heiser the day after her 100th birthday and the day he was born.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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