Armed robbery reported at Pasadena market

PASADENA >> Two robbers held up a Lake Avenue market at gunpoint late Saturday, Pasadena police officials said.
The 7:40 p.m. robbery unfolded at a market in the 1500 block of North Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian said.
One of the two robbers was armed with a handgun and pointed it at the clerk, a 55-year-old man, while demanding money, the lieutenant said. They fled on foot after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash from the store’s register.
Police described the robbers as two black men, both between 19 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and of thin build.
The clerk was not injured during the crime, unlike a worker at another Pasadena store who was shot and wounded during a robbery Friday evening.
In Friday’s 7 p.m. robbery at Pepe’s Video & Wireless, less than two miles away at 313 E. Orange Grove Blvd., a man in his 50s who was working as an attendant suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder while two men robbed the business, Lt. Ed Calatayud said. No other injuries were reported.
The robbers in the Orange Grove Boulevard crime were described as two black men wearing all black clothing. One was about 300 pounds, while the other was thin, police said.
It was not clear Sunday if there was a connection between the two armed robberies.

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Man robbed of bike at knifepoint in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A man lost his bicycle in a knifepoint robbery late Friday, police said.
The crime took place about 11 p.m. at Orange Grove Boulevard and Marengo Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
A 31-year-old local man was riding his bike when a car pulled in front of him, forcing him to stop, the lieutenant said.
A passenger exited the car, brandished a knife and demanded the man’s bike, Calatayud said.
The victim complied, and the suspect fled in the car with the bicycle and a driver.
A detailed suspect description was not available.

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UPDATED: Pasadena convenience store clerk shot during robbery

PASADENA >> A convenience store clerk is recovering from a gunshot wound this weekend as police continued seeking two men who shot him during a robbery late Friday.
The clerk, a man in his 50s, suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder and was hospitalized in stable condition following the 7 p.m. crime at Pepe’s Video & Wireless, 313 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena police officials said.
He had been released from a hospital by Saturday morning, Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
“(Two robbers) entered the store and attempted to rob the location,” Pasadena police Lt. Art Chute said. “A clerk intervened, one gunshot was fired.”
No other employees or customers were hurt, Chute said.
The robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Calatayud said.
Officials described the gunman as a black man of about 300 pounds wearing all black clothing. His accomplice was described as a black man of thin build, also wearing all black clothing. No getaway car was seen.
Police shut down Orange Grove Boulevard between Los Robles and Marengo Avenues for more than an hour as they investigated the scene.

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Chino man gets 374 years to life in prison for spree of follow-home robberies targeting San Gabriel Valley women

1114_NWS_SGT-L-AVILA

ALHAMBRA >> A judge sentenced a Chino man to 374 years to life in prison Thursday for a spree of follow-home robberies targeting lone Asian women throughout the San Gabriel Valley in 2011, officials said.
An Alhambra Superior Court convicted Jose Lewis Avila, 33, of nine counts of robbery, one count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and one count of child abuse. The 12 charges stem from a eight incidents in March and April of 2011, investigators said.
Three robberies, one of which involved two victims, occurred in Alhambra, officials said. Three of he robberies occurred in San Gabriel, one occurred in Arcadia and one took place in Monterey Park.
“The defendant targeted women driving alone,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Once the victims arrived at their homes, Avila accosted them and demanded their money and property. During each robbery, the defendant used a BB gun and covered his face with a bandana or mask.
But detectives managed to identify Avila the culprit in the crimes through surveillance video and credit card charges, officials said.
Additionally, Avila’s “unique” and “pretty” eyes helped victims point him out as their attacker, said Deputy District Attorney David Ayvazian, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Gabriel Kim.
Avila was convicted of a similar string of crimes in 2005, Ayvazian said.
The assault with a deadly weapon charge was the result of Avila shooting one of his victims in the face with a BB gun during a robbery in Arcadia, officials said. He also threatened a witness not to contact the police, leading to the charge of dissuading a witness. And one of the robbery victims was holding a child in her arms during the crime, resulting in the charge of child abuse.
According to district attorney’s officials, the jury also found true special allegations that Avila used a deadly and dangerous weapon, the BB gun, in his crimes, and that he inflicted great bodily injury.

PHOTO of Jose Avila, 33, of Chino, courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department.

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Teens steal tip jar containing $7 in Pasadena robbery

PASADENA >> Three teenagers robbed a water vending business of its tip jar Friday, police said. The felony netted them $7.
The crime took place about 10:10 a.m. at a business in the 1200 block of North Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
A woman working at the store suffered minor injuries to her hand while scuffling with one of the young robbers, he said.
“They intimidated the clerk and attempted to steal the tip jar,” Luna said.
The woman struggled with one of the teens before he ultimately managed to flee with the tip jar, along with his two accomplices, the lieutenant said.
The woman suffered a small cut and abrasions to her hand during the scuffle, he added.
The tip jar contained about $7, Luna said.
Police searched the area but did not find the robbers, described as three black teens of 15 or 16 years old, of thin build, standing 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall.

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South El Monte 7-Eleven store robbed

SOUTH EL MONTE >> A man armed with a handgun robbed a South El Monte convenience store early Wednesday, officials said.
The crime took place about 2 a.m. at 7-Eleven, at Rush Street and Tyler Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
The robber entered the store while brandishing a handgun and demanded money from the clerk, the lieutenant said. The clerk handed over an undetermined amount of cash, and the robber ran east down Rush Street. The clerk was not injured.
A detailed suspect description was not available.

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Masked gunman robs Industry sandwich shop on Halloween

INDUSTRY >> A masked man with a handgun robbed a sandwich shop on Holloween, officials said.
The crime took place about 8:40 p.m. Friday at Subway, on 7th Avenue, just south of Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Desiree Campuzano said.
The robber entered the store, brandished a handgun and demanded money, the sergeant said.
A woman working at the store told the gunman to take the money as she fled to the back of the store, Campuzano said.
The robber grabbed the entire cash register and fled. The amount of money inside the register was not available.
Deputies described the robber as a white man, wearing all-dark clothing and a mask. He was last seen leaving the area in a newer-model, gold minivan. It was unclear if he was alone or accompanied by a getaway driver.

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La Verne police arrest Pomona man, 3 teens, in connection with robbery and carjacking spree

LA VERNE >> La Verne police arrested a man and three teenagers early Sunday accused of a crime spree including an armed carjacking in La Verne, as well as armed robberies in La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Upland in recent days.
Officers arrested Edwin Miguel Garcia, 18, of Pomona, and three teenage boys from Pomona were arrested in connection with the series of crimes after tracking them down in Pomona about 2:30 a.m., according to La Verne police officials and Los Angeles County booking records. Officials withheld the names of the juvenile suspects due to their age.
A man called police just before 11 p.m. Saturday to report being robbed and carjacked outside the Shogun Restaurant, 2123 Foothill Blvd. in La Verne, La Verne police Sgt. Sam Gonzalez said.
“Upon arrival, officers received information that three armed suspects demanded money and a cellular phone from the victim before forcibly taking his vehicle and fleeing the scene,” Gonzalez said.
A short time later, police received a second call from a bicyclist reporting he had been robbed by a group of young men in the 1900 block of Dover Way, police said.
“A preliminary investigation revealed the same subjects from the earlier carjacking were also responsible for the incident on Dover Way,” Gonzalez said.
Police found the four suspects in the area of Towne Avenue and the 10 Freeway in Pomona, Gonzalez said. Officers arrested them without a struggle.
They were found with the carjacked car, as well as a second car that had been reported stolen.
“Upon further investigation it was discovered the suspects arrested were responsible for similar crimes in the cities of Claremont, Pomona, and Upland,” Gonzalez said.
All of the crimes took place within recent days, he added.
In addition to the two stolen cars, the suspects were in possession of a loaded gun, two replica guns, stolen property and drugs, Gonzalez said.
Garcia was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail and the La Verne Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, records show.

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Police: Man robbed by acquaintances inside Pasadena home

PASADENA >> A dispute between acquaintances escalated into a home-invasion robbery Friday afternoon, police said.
The crime was reported about 6 p.m. at a home in the 800 block of North Oakland Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Two men and a woman showed up at the home of the 20-year-old victim, Luna said.
“The victim had a prior dispute with one of the suspects,” he said.
“The suspects forced their way inside the resident’s home and confronted him,” the lieutenant said. The robbers punched the victim in the face during the incident, but he declined medical treatment.
Police said the three robbers stole a cell phone and other items from the victim’s home before fleeing.
The victim knew one of the male robbers by name, and knew a moniker used by the female suspect, Luna said. All three remained at-large Saturday.
Police did not release the name of the identified suspect as the investigation continued.

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Man with hatchet robs Industry DVD rental business

INDUSTRY >> A hatchet-wielding robber held up an Industry video rental business Wednesday before fleeing on a bicycle, officials said.
The crime took place about 5:45 p.m. at A+ DVD Rental on Amar Road, just west of Echelon Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Thurlo said.
“(The robber) went into the store, pulled the hatchet from his waistband and demanded the employee open the cash register,” Thurlo said. The man working the register at the family business complied, and the robber helped himself to about $200.
But he wasn’t satisfied.
“He went into the back of the store, Thurlo said. “There was a female there. He demanded more money.”
The woman turned over her purse, which contained about $600 in cash, along with other personal items, Thurlo said.
Officials described the robber as a Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, of thin build, wearing a yellow long-sleeve shirt and black pants. He was last seen heading west on Amar Road toward Hacienda Boulevard on a bicycle.

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