Gunman sought in back-to-back Glendora restaurant robberies

GLENDORA >> Police are seeking a masked gunman responsible for two back-to-back restaurant robberies in Glendora late Thursday.
The robber struck just after 7:20 p.m. at Sushi UMI, 423 E. Arrow Highway, then immediately after at a neighboring Subway sandwich shop, 419 E. Arrow Highway, Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said.
The gunman entered the sushi restaurant and brandished a black revolver before demanding cash from the clerk, the lieutenant said. An employee opened the register and the robber snatched an estimated $400, Egan said.
But he wasn’t satisfied.
The armed robber then went across a breezeway to the sandwich shop and held up the clerk at gunpoint as well, Egan said. He obtained less than $100 in the second heist.
Police described the gunman as a white man in his 20s, tall and thin, wearing a black hooded sweat shirt, blue jeans and a black bandana over his face.
No injuries were reported in either robbery.

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UPDATED: Azusa man fatally shot while walking to work; slaying may have stemmed from robbery


AZUSA >> A gunman fatally shot an Azusa man as he walked to work early Friday during what officials said appeared to have been a robbery gone awry.
The victim, 37, was hospitalized in “extremely critical” condition following the 4:37 a.m. shooting at Azusa Avenue and Russell Street, Azusa police Officer Mike Bires said in a written statement.
He succumbed to his injuries Friday afternoon, Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. His name was not available pending positive identification by coroner’s officials and notification of his family.
“Based on the initial investigation it appears the shooting might have been the result of an attempted street robbery,” Bires said.
The victim himself called police to report being shot, the lieutenant said. No other witnesses reported hearing or seeing the shooting.
Officers responded to report of a shooting when the found the victim lying wounded on a grass parkway between the street and sidewalk along the north side of Russell Street, just east of Azusa Avenue, officials said.
Paramedics took the gravely wounded man to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was ultimately pronounced dead, Corina said.
“The victim was able to make some statements before he went unconscious,” Corina said.
But other than indicating he had been shot during a robbery, the lieutenant declined to discuss what the victim said.
It was not clear if anything had been stolen from the man.
No suspect description or further details were released as detectives continued pursuing leads, Corina said.
The victim was on his way to work when he was shot, Corina said.
“He was on his way to a friend’s house to drive to work together, he added.
Investigators turned to the public for help.
“Since Azusa Avenue is a main thoroughfare through Azusa, there may have been witnesses to this crime,” Bires said.
Once the victim died from his injuries, police turned the investigation over the detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. Handling investigators could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Anyone with information can reach the bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Officials: Three arrested in middle of La Puente shoe store robbery


LA PUENTE >> Deputies and a keen-eyed employee foiled an armed robbery at a La Puente shoe store late Tuesday, a sheriff’s lieutenant said.
The incident unfolded about 9 p.m. at Warehouse Shoe Sale, 1081 N. Hacienda Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Raymond Enriquez said.
Three suspects, all believed to be gang members, entered the store just before closing time, he said. The suspects asked employees if they were the last customers in the store.
One of the three men exited the store and stood out front, Enriquez said. He was believed to be acting as a lookout.
An employee who happened to be on the phone with a district manager noticed a gun tucked into the waistband of one of the two suspect still inside the store, the lieutenant said. The employee told the manager that the store was about to be robbed, and the manager called for help.
Deputies quickly arrived and detained the alleged lookout, Enriquez said. They then ordered the five employees and two customers out of the shoe store, followed by the to remaining suspects.
Deputies found a loaded 9mm handgun hidden in a shoe box inside the store, Enriquez added.
All three men, who are in their mid-20s, were arrested on suspicion of robbery, he said. Their names were not available late Tuesday pending the booking process.

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Takeover robbery reported at Arcadia restaurant; similar crime took place last weekend

ARCADIA >> A masked gunman emptied the safe of an Italian restaurant early Sunday during the second takeover-style restaurant robbery reported in Arcadia this month, police said.
The robbery took place just after midnight at Carmine’s Italian Restaurant & Bar, 311 E. Live Oak Ave., Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro said in a written statement. The eatery was closed at the time.
A robber with a bandana covering his face approached two employees who were taking out the trash behind the restaurant, Castro said.
“The suspect pointed a chrome-colored handgun at the employees and forced them back into the restaurant,” the lieutenant said. “Once inside, the suspect confronted the manager and ordered everyone into the office. The suspect demanded all of the money from the safe.”
The manager complied, filling a bag with about $6,000 and handing it over to the robber, police said.
The robber ran to a dark-colored vehicle parked on Third Avenue and fled, Castro said. It was not clear whether he drove himself or had an accomplice waiting behind the wheel.
Investigators described the robber as a black man in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 170 pounds. He wore a dark hooded sweatshirt and carried a chrome, semi-automatic handgun.
The suspect description and tactics involved in the robbery closely resemble another reported late last Sunday, Jan. 4, at Coco’s Bakery Restaurant, 1150 W. Colorado St. in Arcadia.
An armed robber approached an employee who was taking out the garbage and ordered him back into the restaurant at gunpoint, according to Lt. Roy Nakamura.
Once inside the restaurant, the gunman ordered a manager to fill a backpack with money, Nakamura said. The robber locked both the manager and employee inside a freezer before fleeing.
No one was injured in either robbery, police said.
While it was too early to say definitively if the robberies were linked, “They’re fairly similar,” Lt. Tom Cullen said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.”
Anyone with information was asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5150. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man robs woman at gunpoint, steals her car in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A man robbed a woman of her cell phone at gunpoint and carjacked her outside a Target store Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
A 39-year-old Tujunga woman was walking to her parked vehicle in a commercial neighborhood when she was robbed, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“She was approached by a suspect who pointed a handgun at herw, and demanded her cell phone. The victim complied,” Clawson said.
After obtaining the cell phone, the robber fled in the woman’s black, 2010 BMW 535i sedan, the lieutenant said. The woman was hurt.
The stolen BMW has a California license plate number of 6USY043, Lt. Art Chute said.
The robber was described as a Latino man, about 35 years old, 6 feet tall and of stocky build, Clawson said. He had thick black hair, along with a goatee and a mustache. He wore a blue baseball cap with a white logo on the front, a black shirt with writing on the back and dark pants.

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UPDATED: Robbers attack security guard at Arcadia shopping mall; two suspects arrested

ARCADIA >> Police jailed two Pasadena men accused of punching a security guard and threatening him with pepper spray after being caught shoplifting from a sporting goods store at an Arcadia shopping mall Sunday, officials said.
The robbery took place just before 12:40 p.m. at Sport Chalet inside Westfield Santa Anita, 400 South Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said.
A security guard spotted two young men fill a backpack with items from the store and leave, the lieutenant said. The security guard chased after them as they ran to a black Honda Civic in the parking lot.
“The loss prevention (officer) caught up to them at a vehicle,” Cullen said. “At that point, one or both of them struck the loss prevention officer.”
The robbers threatened the security guard with pepper spray, though he was not sprayed with the inflammatory agent, as was initially reported to be the case, the lieutenant said. The security guard suffered no significant injuries.
Cullen said the two suspects fled in the Honda, but someone was able to provide police with a description of the getaway car.
Officers found a car matching the description driving nearby on Colorado Boulevard, police said. The driver refused to pull over, initiating a brief chase.
Police pursued the Honda west until the suspects stopped were taken into custody at Corta Calle and Buff Avenue, Cullen said.
Some stolen items were recovered from the suspects, Cullen said. Officials found the suspects’ backpack discarded back at the mall, the lieutenant said. It contained primarily clothing taken from the store.
Dominique Javan Jones, 20, and Royce Lee Emerson Camp, 18, both of Pasadena, were booked on suspicion of robbery, police said.
The alleged driver, Jones, is also accused of evading police and driving without a license, Cullen said. He also had an outstanding arrest warrant stemming from a previous vandalism case.
Jones was being held in lieu of $105,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, while Camps was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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Gunman robs Pasadena market

PASADENA >> A gunman fled with cash late Tuesday after robbing an Allen Avenue market, officials said.
The crime took place about 8:45 p.m. at a store in the 200 block of North Allen Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
The robber entered the store and confronted a female employee while the business’s cash register was open, Clawson said.
“He pulled out a handgun and forced her to the ground,” the lieutenant said.
The robber then grabbed the cash from the register and ran from the store, Clawson said. He was last seen getting into a white van, which sped away on Corson Street.
Clawson said the woman was not injured during the robbery, though she was very, “shaken up.”
Police described the robber as a Latino man wearing a black baseball cap and a jacket. Officials received conflicting reports regarding the color of the robber’s jacket.

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Bulldog puppies stolen in Pico Rivera pet shop robbery recovered, 3 suspects jailed

PICO RIVERA >> Deputies this week recovered two valuable English bulldog puppies and arrested three teenage suspects who allegedly stole them at gunpoint from a Whittier Boulevard pet shop on Christmas Eve, sheriff’s officials announced Saturday.
The robbery took place Wednesday afternoon at Mr. Bulldog, 9432 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Serge Escobedo said.
A young man armed with a handgun demanded cash and the puppies before fleeing in a BMW driven by an accomplice, Escobedo said.
“Media coverage of the incident fanned public interest, which led to a crime tip about the robbery,” Escobedo said. “As a result, Pico Rivera Station detectives were called in on Christmas Day. They worked unremittingly on every lead in order to identify the suspects. Their efforts led to the execution of a search warrant on Christmas night at a residence in West Whittier. The warrant resulted in the arrest of the primary robbery suspect, who was a juvenile.”
Deputies arrested the alleged gunman, a 17-year-old West Whittier boy, on Christmas Day, Sgt. Jacqueline Sanchez said.
Further investigation led deputies to arrest the alleged getaway driver Jonathan Mora-Medina, 18, of Whittier, who turned himself in Friday at the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station, officials said.
Sanchez said deputies also arrested a 15-year-old West Whittier girl Friday as an accomplice to the armed robbery, though her alleged specific role in the crime was not available Saturday.
Both 10-week-old puppies have been recovered safe and returned to the business they were stolen from.
A woman found one of the animals wandering near her West Whittier home on Christmas Day, officials said. An unidentified person returned the second puppy to the store Friday.
According to county booking records, Mora-Medina was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.
The names of the juvenile suspects were withheld due to their ages.

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Armed robbery reported at Pasadena market

PASADENA >> A man with a gun robbed a Pasadena market on Christmas Eve, but the crime was not reported until Friday, police said.
The robber entered the Futaba Food Center, 1507 Lincoln Ave., about 6 p.m. Wednesday and pulled a handgun on the 71-year-old owner, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
“The suspect demanded money from the cash register and fled the store on foot with approximately $100,” Luna said. The owner was not hurt. He did not report the robbery until Friday morning.
Luna said the robber was described as a black man of unknown age dressed in green hooded sweat shirt, dark jeans, dark gloves and sunglasses.

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UPDATED: Armed man robs Pico Rivera pet shop of puppies, cash

PICO RIVERA >> A man escaped with two English bulldog puppies and cash Wednesday after robbing a Whittier Boulevard pet shop at gunpoint, officials said.
The robbery occurred about 12:25 p.m. at Mr. Bulldog, 9432 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The robber entered the store with a handgun and demanded money and dogs from the owner, Lt. Sergio Escobedo said.
The victim complied, and the robber fled with two Enlish bulldog puppies values at $2,500 each, as well as an undetermined amount of cash, the lieutenant said.
Deputies described the gunman as a white man between 20 and 25 years old, Escobedo said. He wore a bandana over his face.
Officials were looking into reports that a light-colored sedan may have been involved in the crime, Escobedo said. No injuries were reported.

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