PASADENA — Two men escaped with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry late Thursday after robbing a pair of jewelry dealers on a freeway offramp in Pasadena, police said.
The heist took place about 9:50 p.m. on the Fair Oaks Avenue offramp of the eastbound 210 Freeway, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Two men from out of state who own a jewelry business were visiting town when a car stopped in front of them, Luna said.
The two robbers exited their car and confronted the victims, who were 35 and 45 years old, he said.
“They threatened harm if the victims did not comply with their demands,” Luna said. The robbers ordered the victims to open the trunk of their car.
Luna said the robbers grabbed jewelry valued at “several hundred-thousand dollars,” from the victims’ trunk before fleeing. The jewelry dealers were not injured, and no weapons were seen during the crime.
Police described the robbers only as two male suspects wearing dark clothing. They were driving a white sedan, possibly of German manufacture.
The victims did not recognize the robbers, Luna said. It was not clear how the robbers knew of the victims’ precious cargo.
“They were obviously targeted,” Luna said.
PASADENA — A man with a skateboard used a large knife to rob a Pasadena liquor store Thursday, police said.
The crime took place just before 11 a.m. when the robber entered Pat’s Liquors, 1072 block of East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“He walked into the liquor store, produced a knife (and) told a clerk that he wanted all the money from the cash register,” Clawson said. The man working at the store turned over a “small amount” of money.
Police said the robber was last seen on a skateboard heading south on Catalina Avenue. He was described a white or Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing a gray T-shirt and black shorts.
WEST COVINA — Police are seeking two gunmen who forced their way into the home of a West Covina woman and her elderly mother Sunday, assaulting one of the women before fleeing with valuables, authorities said.
The home-invasion robbery took place just after 10 a.m. today at a house in the 3000 block of Larkwood Street, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
A woman estimated to be in her 50s and her mother, estimated to be in her 70s, were inside the home when the two armed robbers entered through the open door of an attached garage, police said.
“(The women) were confronted by the suspects, who were armed with handguns,” Patton said. The robbers ordered the women into a bedroom.
The daughter was bleeding from a head injury when officers arrived, he said. She had been struck by one of the robbers with a blunt object, though it was not clear if she had been pistol-whipped or struck with some other unknown object.
Both women were examined at the scene by paramedics, but not hospitalized, police said.
Police said the robbers fled with cash, jewelry and electronics. A safe was stolen during the crime.
The value of the items stolen in the robbery was not available.
Patton said the robbers were described as two black men, both wearing jeans and dark-colored T-shirts and armed with semi-automatic handguns. One of the robbers appeared 20 25 years old, while the other was described as appearing to be about 30.
They were last seen fleeing the area in a light-colored vehicle similar to a 2010 or newer-model model Chevrolet Camaro, Patton said.
A woman who answered the door at the home did not wish to comment, though she confirmed everyone was OK.
A neighbor who was home at the time of the crime said he did not hear or see anything unusual.
Patton said police were checking with other law enforcement agencies in the region to see if any similar crimes have been reported lately.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500.
ALHAMBRA — Police arrested a man Saturday after he robbed a sandwich shop at gunpoint, authorities said.
Jacob Adan Perez, 19, of Alhambra was arrested in connection with the robbery, which took place just before 1 a.m. at Subway, 2131 South Fremont Avenue, according to Alhambra police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Perez entered the restaurant with a handgun and demanded money, Alhambra police Sgt. Esther Rodriguez said. After obtaining cash, he ran off.
A responding police officer spotted the suspect — later identified as Perez — in the area, Rodriguez said. Police set up a search perimeter, in which Perez was found and arrested without a struggle a short time later.
Police recovered the handgun believed to have been used in the robbery, as well as other items possibly linking Perez to additional crimes, Rodriguez said.
Officials declined to described the items seized from Perez Saturday as they continued their investigation, she added.
Perez was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in Alhambra Superior Court.
WHITTIER — A group of men attacked and robbed another man Tuesday evening along Pickering Avenue in Whittier, police said.
The crime took place about 7 p.m. at Pickering Avenue and Pacific Place, but was not reported until about half an hour later when the victim arrived home and called police, Whittier Police Lt. Steve Dean said.
The victim was walking when he passed by a group of men who were drinking in some bushes, the lieutenant said. The called out to him to come over as he passed, but he ignored them.
Three of the four suspects ran over to the victim, a 23-year-old Whittier man, and began beating him with their fists, Dean said. The fourth suspect apparently acted as a lookout.
While the victim was on the ground, the attackers grabbed his wallet from his pocket, emptied it of cash and dropped the rest on the ground.
The attackers fled when the lookout announced it was , “Time to go,” Dean said.
The victim declined to be taken to a hospital for treatment, he added.
Police described all four suspects as Latino men. The three attackers were about 5 feet 6 inches tall and of thin build. Two of them were in their mid-20s, while the third was in his late-teens.
A detailed description of the fourth suspect was not available.
COVINA — A man tried to steal a folder containing the personal information of a girls’ softball team as members gathered at a pizza parlor Friday before being chased down and captured by an outraged group of players and parents, police said.
Police arrested Marvin Duenas, 29, of Covina on suspicion of robbery, as well as an outstanding vandalism warrant out of Van Nuys, Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
The alleged crime took place about 8:20 p.m. at a pizzeria in the 900 block of North Citrus Avenue, the lieutenant said.
Eleven- and 12-year-old members of the Covina National Little League Softball girls’ all-star team, along with parents and coaches, were meeting at the restaurant ahead of a scheduled game Saturday against Baldwin Park Eastside Little League, police said.
The coach had with him a folder containing personal information of players, such as birth certificates, utility bills and tax forms which the league uses to verify players’ eligibility, Doonan said.
The lieutenant described the folder as a “gold mine” for someone seeking to carry out identity theft. The documents were also necessary for the team to be allowed to play their game.
After looking down an realizing the folder was gone from the table, Doonan said another patron of the restaurant told him that a man had just snatched the folder and walked out the door with it.
The group went outside and spotted the man, as well as a woman, entering a nearby gas station, Doonan said.
During a brief confrontation at the gas station, he said, Duenas shoved a 12-year-old girl, as well as one of the parents accompanying the group.
The group demanded the folder back, and Duenas returned it after pulling it from a backpack he was carrying, police said. The suspect then tried to run, but the group held onto him until police arrived.
Police detained the woman Duenas was with, but released her later in the evening after determining she did not appear to have been involved in the theft.
Duenas was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
SAN DIMAS — A deputy stopped an Upland man for jaywalking in San Dimas early Thursday and soon discovered he had just attempted to rob a nearby coffee shop, authorities said.
The deputy encountered Dean Andrew Perez, 19, about 6:30 a.m. as he was illegally crossing the street near Bonita and San Dimas avenues, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Vega said.
After determining Perez appeared to be under the influence of drugs, the deputy began making an arrest, the lieutenant said.
The deputy found a replica handgun in the Perez’s waistband as he patted him down and noticed he was wearing a handkerchief tied around his neck, Vega said.
Deputies soon discovered Perez had just tried unsuccessfully to rob a Starbucks coffee shop on Bonita Avenue, just west of San Dimas Avenue, officials said.
He had entered the store and just begun to pull the fake gun from his waistband when a customer walked in, apparently starling him, Vega said Perez fled empty-handed moments before being stopped by the deputy for jaywalking.
Perez was booked on suspicion of attempted robbery and being under the influence of drugs, Vega said.
According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Monday in Pomona Superior Court.
LA HABRA — Police searched a La Habra neighborhood Thursday after a botched tobacco shop robbery, authorities said.
The suspect ultimately eluded capture following the incident, which began about 6 p.m. with an attempted robbery at a tobacco store on Whittier Boulevard, just east of Hacienda Road, La Habra police Sgt. Mel Ruiz said.
The would-be robber entered the store and demanded property from the clerk, the sergeant said. He claimed to have a knife.
The clerk refused and confronted the robber, Ruiz said. The crook reached for the cash resister as the two briefly struggled.
The robber abandoned the crime and ran from the store, dropping a box cutter-style knife as he fled, officials said. The clerk declined to be taken to a hospital.
Police spotted a man matching the description of the failed robber about 6:40 p.m. in the area of Beach and La Habra Boulevards, Ruiz said. He ran south through a residential neighborhood as officers approached.
Officers set up a search perimeter in the area of Beach Boulevard and Lambert Road, where they last spotted the fleeing suspect, Ruiz said.
They searched yard-to-yard with the help of two police dogs and an Orange County Sheriff’s Department Helicopter, but came up empty-handed, he said.
Police described the robber as a Latino man of about 20 years old, about 5 feet 3 inches tall, of thin build, with a shaved head. He wore a black shirt with white lettering, blue jeans and leather boots.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the La Habra Police Department.
WEST COVINA — An armed man abandoned a pharmacy robbery Sunday morning after he was apparently disappointed by the amount of cash in the register, authorities said.
The incident, which was being investigated as an attempted robbery, took place about 9:40 a.m. at a CVS Pharmacy at 702 N. Azusa Avenue, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
A man entered the store and approached a clerk with a bottle of water, as if he was about to purchase it, the lieutenant said.
He then lifted his sweatshirt to expose a black, semi-automatic handgun tucked into his waistband, Patton said. “He demanded money from the clerk.”
The employee removed placed 20-, 10- and 5-dollar bills from the register, but the would-be robber turned his nose up at the cash.
After asking if that was all the money the clerk had, he stated, “Keep it,” before leaving the store empty-handed, Patton said.
Police searched the area with help from a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, but were unable to find the suspect, he said. The gunman was described as a black man with a light complexion between 25 and 30 years old, about 6 feet 1 inch tall, 180 pounds and clean-shaven. He wore a black hat with a white logo on the front, a light gray zip-up hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants and black shoes.
For the second time in two days in the same area, home-invasion robbers stormed into a La Canada Flintridge home late Thursday, authorities said.
Two armed robbers escaped with cash and jewelry after robbing an elderly couple about 10 p.m. at their home in the 5100 block of Jarvis Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Chad Sauter said.
Both robbers brandished handguns as they surprised the couple in their home and ransacked the house for valuables, the lieutenant said. No injuries were reported.
The robbers were initially described only as black men, one taller than the other, wearing all dark clothing and hooded sweat shirts, Sauter said.
A similar home-invasion robbery took place late Wednesday in the 2900 block of Los Olivos Lane in neighboring La Crescenta.
In that crime, a man was awakened and tied up by two robbers who held him at gunpoint as they ransacked his home for cash, jewelry and electronics, Lt. Elisabeth Sachs said. The robbers were described as two black men in their 20s, one of them about 6 feet 3 inches tall, wearing dark clothing.
While officials did not know for certain if the robberies were linked, investigators noted the similarities.
“Because the descriptions are so vague, we can’t really say, but it’s an interesting coincidence,” Sauter said. “It’s possible they could be the same suspects.”
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau are handling the investigation.