UPDATED: Teenage boy suspected in Hacienda Heights armed robbery


HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Deputies arrested a teen Sunday after he allegedly robbed a fruit vendor at gunpoint outside a Hacienda Heights diner before being involved in a hit-and-run car crash minutes later.
The robbery took place about 12:25 p.m. in the parking lot of Denny’s, 1150 S, 7th Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rico Sandoval said.
The 16-year-old suspect approached a vendor selling fruit, brandished a handgun and demanded money, the sergeant said.
After obtaining the cash, the robber got into a light-colored sedan and drove off.
Shortly after the robbery, deputies discovered an abandoned car matching the basic description of the car used in the robbery about 3 miles away in the area of Fairgrove and Broadmoor avenues in an unincorporated county area just outside of La Puente, officials said. It had crashed into a wall, and four people were seen running away.
All four were eventually found and detained during an hour-long search of the surrounding neighborhoods, official said. The 16-year-old boy was identified as the robbery suspect.
A handgun was recovered from inside the car, Sandoval added. Deputies also recovered some, but not all, of the suspected stolen money.
The other three people detained after fleeing from the car were not ultimately arrested, as they were not linked to the robbery, he said.

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‘Baggy Eyes Bandit’ sought in 4-county bank robbery spree

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The FBI is seeking a possibly sleep deprived serial bank robber dubbed the “Baggy Eyes Bandit” in connection with a spate of six bank heists in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties dating back to late-February, officials said.
The bandit, who earned his nickname due to witnesses describing him as having “baggy eyes,” is linked to five bank robberies and one failed bank robbery, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
“The suspect known as the Baggy Eyes Bandit enters the bank branch and passes a note to the victim tellers demanding cash while threatening a weapon,” Eimiller said in a written statement. “No weapon has been seen by witnesses, however, the suspect should be considered potentially armed and dangerous.”
Each of the robberies took place at Citibank branches.
Eimiller said the serial robber has been linked to a robbery Wednesday at a Norco branch; an Aug. 4 robbery at a Chino Hills branch; a July 14 heist at a Rancho Cucamonga branch; a March 4 failed robbery in Arcadia; a March 4 robbery in Placentia and a Feb 29 robbery in Glendora.
In each case, the bandit was last seen fleeing on foot. No getaway car has been reported in connection with the crimes.
He’s described as a white man in hiss mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, of thin build. He wears a dark baseball cap during the robberies, and some victims described him as having a Middle Eastern accent.
Anyone with information can reach the 24-hour tip line of the FBI’s Los Angeles office at 310-477-6565. Anyone who spots the bandit is urged to call 911.

PHOTOS courtesy of the FBI

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Gunman sought in failed Pasadena gas station robbery


PASADENA >> A masked gunman tried to hold-up a Pasadena gas station on Friday, but ran away empty-handed when the clerk refused to allow him into the locked business, police said.
The ill-fated robbery attempt took place about 12:15 a.m at an ARCO station, 1010 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The would-be robber wore a bandana over his face and carried a handgun when he approached the business, according to the lieutenant. But the doors of the gas station were locked overnight.
Police said the robber demanded the attendant let him in, but the employee refused.
Ultimately, the gunman fled empty-handed. He was described as a black man between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, of thin build, wearing a long-sleeve black hooded sweat shirt.
He was last seen running south on Catalina Avenue.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Two suspects jailed in fatal shooting of 20-year-old Covina man during alleged robbery

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COVINA >> Police have arrested two suspect in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Covina man while allegedly trying to rob him of jewelry after arranging a meeting online, officials said.
Isaac Urena died in Saturday’s 11:50 a.m. shooting in the parking lot of Clearman’s North Woods Inn, at San Bernardino Road and Azusa Avenue in Covina, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator A. Lopez said.
After following leads and serving search warrant through the night and into Sunday morning, Covina police detectives, aided by SWAT officers, arrested Adam Hernandez, 21, and Christopher Avila, 20, both of Covina, on suspicion of murder and robbery, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
“These guys were relentless in their pursuit of these suspects…working, literally, around the clock,” he said.

Police have Clearman's North Woods Inn parking lot cordoned off where they believe a man was shot late Saturday morning. The man was found fatally shot inside a Honda Civic in the parking lot of Faith Community Church on San Bernardino Road in West Covina Saturday August 13, 2016. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Police have Clearman’s North Woods Inn parking lot cordoned off where they believe a man was shot late Saturday morning. The man was found fatally shot inside a Honda Civic in the parking lot of Faith Community Church on San Bernardino Road in West Covina Saturday August 13, 2016. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Urena was the passenger in a Honda Civic, with a friend at the wheel, when the shooting took place, according to police.
He had made an arrangement online to sell some jewelry, and had gone to the restaurant parking lot to meet the prospective buyer, the sergeant said.
But the transaction turned into a robbery, and Urena was shot and mortally wounded, Peterson said.
The driver of the car Urena was riding in fled from the shooting scene and drove west along San Bernardino Road, coming to a stop in the parking lot of Faith Community Church across the city border in West Covina, police said.
It was there that paramedics pronounced Urena dead, officials said. The driver, also a young man, was not wounded in the shooting.
Detectives had yet to determine of the alleged killers successfully stole the jewelry they were after, or fled empty-handed, Peterson said.
As investigators pursued leads in the case, they identified Hernandez and Avila as suspects in the fatal shooting.
Police served a search warrant in the 1400 block of Armel Drive in Covina, where they apprehended Hernandez, Peterson said.
“As the investigation continued, it led us to the 1200 block of O’Malley Avenue (in Covina), where we served a search warrant with our Special Response Team,” Peterson said. Avila was taken into custody.
Police recovered a handgun during the searches, he said, but police were yet to determine it if was the weapon used in the slaying.
According to county booking records, Hernandez and Avila were being held in lieu of $1 million bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court. Police planned to seek an increase in bail to $2 million, Peterson said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Covina police detectives at 626-384-5628, Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

BOOKING PHOTOS of Christopher Avila (left) and Adam Hernandez (right) courtesy of the Covina Police Deparmtent.

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Man jailed following armed robbery at Norwalk Walmart


NORWALK >> A man robbed a Walmart cashier at gunpoint in Norwalk Sunday afternoon, only to be captured by deputies minutes later, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 2:05 p.m. at Walmart, 11729 Imperial Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Dusky said.
The robber entered the store, handed a cashier a bag, pointed a handgun at her and ordered her to fill the bag with cash from the register, he said.
Fearing for her safety, the cashier complied, Dusky said. The robber fled the store with several thousand dollars.
But responding deputies quickly arrived and spotted the fleeing suspect nearby, the lieutenant said
Deputies arrested the man without a struggle, and recovered the stolen cash and the handgun, which he had discarded nearby, Dusky said.
The name of the suspect, estimated to be in his early-50s, was not immediately available.

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Man attacked, robbed in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A gunman robbed and apparently pistol-whipped a man walking in a residential neighborhood in Pasadena Saturday night, police said.
A 19-year-old Pasadena man was walking about 10:30 p.m. when a car pulled up next to him and stopped at Summit Avenue and Villa Street, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“The (passenger) got out of the car, displayed a handgun to the victim and demanded money,” Goodman said. The victims turned over his cash.
“After obtaining the money, the suspect told the victim to turn around, at which time he struck the victim in the back of the head with an unknown object, possibly the handgun,” the lieutenant said.
The victim fell ot the ground, and the gunman then returned to the car, which sped off. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be severe.
He was described as a Latino man, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, heavy-set, bald, wearing a white short-sleeve shirt and khaki shorts.
No description of the getaway driver or the car was available.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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‘Palm Tree Bandits’ linked to violent bank takeover robberies in Arcadia, San Marino, Santa Monica

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Recent takeover robberies at banks in Arcadia, San Marino and Santa Monica have been linked to a pair of serial robbers the FBI has dubbed, “The Palm Tree Bandits,” authorities said Friday.
The robbers, who earned their moniker due to baseball caps emblazoned with palm tree logos they wore during the crimes, struck Thursday at a First Bank branch, 848 W. Duarte Road in Arcadia, as well as July 28 at a One West Bank at 900 Huntington Drive in San Marino, and July 18 at a Banc of California at 2635 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, FBI officials said in a written statement.
The FBI described the crimes as “violent takeover robberies.”
0806_NWS_PSN-L-BANDITS2“They are considered armed and dangerous,” according to the FBI statement. “At least one suspect brandishes a handgun during the robberies.”
In Thursday’s robbery in Arcadia, the robbers donned surgical masks, latex gloves and orange construction vests during the heist. In other robberies, the robbers’ faces were uncovered and recorded by bank surveillance cameras.
Both robbers were armed with handguns during the Arcadia crime, Lt. Tom Cullen said.
In the San Marino robbery, only one of the robbers was seen with a gun, San Marino police Detective Brian Wong said. The suspect fled the area in a red SUV.
0806_NWS_PSN-L-BANDITS4The FBI has teamed with Arcadia, San Marino and Santa Monica police in the investigation.
Officials described the bandits as two black men between 20 and 30 years old.
One is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and of thin build. The second robber is of heavy build.
Anyone with information is asked to contact local police, or the FBI’s 24-hour Los Angeles-area tip line at 310-477-6565.

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PHOTOS courtesy of the FBI

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Masked men rob Arcadia bank


ARCADIA >> Two men wearing surgical masks and orange construction vests robbed an Arcadia bank branch Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The heist took place about 1:15 p.m. at the First Bank, 848 W. Duarte Road, according to Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen.
Both robbers brandished handguns as they demanded cash from a teller and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, the lieutenant said.
They were last seen running from the bank. No getaway car was seen.
Police described both robbers as black men, between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and of thin build. According to initial reports from the scene, they wore surgical style masks, latex gloves and orange construction-style vests.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Arcadia police at 626-674-5151 in reference to case 1604107. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Woman sentenced for role in botched Montebello robbery that left accomplices dead


MONTEBELLO >> A woman received a 23-year prison sentence Wednesday for her role in an ill-fated armed robbery in Montebello last year that escalated into a gunfight that led to the fatal shooting of her two accomplices and the wounding of a shopkeeper, authorities said.
Toni Danielle Lopez of Los Angeles, who served as the getaway driver in the botched Montebello robbery, pleaded “no contest” in Los Angeles County Superior Court to charges of attempted murder and robbery, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said in a written statement. She also admitted the special allegations that a gun was used in the crimes, and that the crimes were gang-related.
Judge Henry Hall immediately sentenced Lopez to 23 years in state prison, Risling said.
Lopez served as the getaway driver in the double-fatal robbery attempt, which took place just after midnight on July 18, 2015, at a restaurant in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard following a spate of violent crimes.
Fellow robbers Kevin Fierro, 23, of Los Angeles and Roger Soriano, 21, of Los Angeles, entered the restaurant and carried out the robbery, Montebello police Lt. Andy Vuncannon said at the time.
Soriano shot and wounded the shopkeeper, who pulled his own gun and returned fire, police said. Soriano died in the restaurant. Fierro, who was also wounded in the gunfight, tried to flee but collapsed and died about a block away.
Just prior to the Montebello robbery attempt, Lopez, Fierro and Soriano robbed a 17-year-old boy along Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles, Risling said.
And prior to that, authorities suspect Fierro and Soriano carjacked the Toyota Camry used in the other crimes in East Los Angeles.
Detectives found and arrested Lopez in connection with the crime at Eugene A. Obregon Park in East Los Angeles three days after the robbery and shootout, Vuncannon said. She was still driving the carjacked Camry.
Prosecutors initially charged Lopez with two counts of murder for the deaths of her accomplices, as well as other crimes. The complaint was later amended to include one count of attempted murder, two counts of robbery and one count of receiving stolen property.

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Video: Gunman sought in Azusa restaurant robbery


AZUSA >> Police are seeking gunman caught on video during a robbery at an Azusa restaurant last month.
The crime unfolded about 8:40 p.m. on July 13 at a restaurant in the area of Citrus and Alosta avenues , Azusa police Detective Seth Chapman said.
•Video: Azusa armed robbery
“The suspect pointed a black handgun and demanded the cash register’s money from the employees,” according to Azusa police Officer Mike Bires.
The employees complied, and the robber fled with about $500 in cash, he said.
Investigators released surveillance camera footage Wednesday in hopes of generating lead from the public.
Police described the robber a Latino man, about 6 feet tall and 230 bounds, with a “scruffy” beard. He wore a khaki hat, a blue jacket, khaki shorts and blue shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Azusa police Detective Seth Chapman at 626-812-3252. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

VIDEO courtesy of the Azusa Police Department

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