Same La Puente cell phone store robbed twice in one afternoon; 3 suspects jailed


LA PUENTE >> Police arrested three suspects and sought two more after two separate armed robberies unfolded at the same La Puente cell phone store in just over an hour on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The first of the two crimes took place about 12:10 p.m. at the Verizon store, at Amar Road and Hacienda Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. William Kitchin said.
Two men entered the store, brandished a handgun and fled with property, he said.
It was not immediately clear what the robbers obtained during the heist, and detailed suspect descriptions were not available.
A trio of robbers then showed at the same business about 1:20 p.m. with the same felonious idea, according to the lieutenant.
The man brandished a handgun as they demanded property from the store, he said.
But a sheriff’s helicopter spotted the suspects’ car as it fled the area, Kitchin said. Deputies caught up with the suspects, stopped their car and arrested them without a struggle in South Gate.
Officials recovered a gun, as well as items believed to have been stolen from the store.
The identities of the three robbery suspects were not available pending the booking process, Kitchin added.
No injuries were reported in either robbery, he said.

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Masked men sought in Arcadia home-invasion robbery


ARCADIA >> A group of masked men forced their way into an Arcadia home, tied up the residents and ransacked the house before fleeing with valuables late Thursday, police said.
The crime unfolded about 11 p.m. in the 1000 block of Singing Wood Drive, Arcadia police Lt. John Bonomo said.
“On arrival, contact was made with the resident of the home who stated three, possibly four, masked men entered the home and tied them up,” according to the sergeant. One of the robbers carried a gun.
The me then ransacked the home and fled with valuables, he said.
“One of the bound victims was able to free themselves after the suspects fled and called for help,” Bonomo said.
One of the victims suffered a minor injury during the incident, but did not require medical treatment, he said. The nature of the injury was unclear, as was the number of victims and their ages.
No further description of the robbers was available.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Women pepper spray Monrovia store security guard while stealing purses


MONROVIA >> Police are seeking two women who they say sprayed a security guard with pepper spray in order to steal purses from a Monrovia discount department store late Friday.
The robbery unfolded just after 8 p.m. at Marshall’s, 564 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Lt. Rob Wilken said.
A security guard noticed two women leaving the store with handbags they hadn’t paid for and confronted them about the theft, he said.
One of the women pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the security guard, according to the lieutenant.
The women then fled, with the stolen purses, in a red Dodge Charger, he said. They were last seen headed west on Huntington Drive.
A detailed description of the suspects was not available. The security guard was treated by paramedics for pepper spray exposure, but did not require to be taken to a hospital.
Anyone with information can reach Monrovia police at 626-256-8000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Whittier serial robbery suspect arrested in Santa Fe Springs

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A tipster helped police capture a man in Santa Fe Springs on Thursday who they have been seeking in connection with two robberies at the same Whittier convenience store, as well as a failed robbery at a Whittier jewelry store last month, officials said.
Officers found and arrested Esteban Manuel Garcia, 23, about 4:45 p.m. at a Starbucks coffee shop, 13248 Imperial Highway, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
Police were tipped off by a witness who recognized the suspect from surveillance camera images from the crimes released by police and circulate in the media, according to the lieutenant.
Though they didn’t know his name until Thursday, deputies had been seeking Garcia for a month.
He is suspected of holding up employees of a Whittier ampm store at Lambert Road and Greeneleaf Avenue on May 24.
The robber pulled a gun on the clerk and fled with about $200, Dean said.
The same tattoo-faced robber then reappeared exactly one week later on May 31, Dean said. He displayed a handgun and demanded money from a worker at a jewelry store in the 13500 block of Whittier Blvd.
But the worker refused, and the robber fled empty-handed.
The same armed man then returned to the ampm store robbed a week before about two hours after the failed jewelry store heist and held it up once more, Dean said. He escaped with about $250.
Garcia was taken into custody without a struggle, Dean said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Garcia was being held in lieu of $105,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

SURVEILLANCE PHOTO: Courtesy, Whittier Police Department.

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Gunman sought in robbery at Pasadena In-N-Out Burger


PASADENA >> A man with a handgun carried out a robbery at an In-N-Out Burger on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place just after 1:30 p.m. at the restaurant at 2114 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. William Grisafe said.
The robber approached a worker while brandishing a handgun tucked into his waistband, according to the lieutenant. He demanded cash, which the employee handed over.
Grisafe said the bandit was last seen running east toward Craig Avenue. No getaway car was seen.
Police described the gunman as a Latino man, between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, of medium build. He wore a baseball cap and a bandana.
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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Man robbed as he arrives home in San Marino; robbers force way into house


SAN MARINO >> Three men confronted and robbed a San Marino man at gunpoint as he arrived home early Wednesday, then forced their way into his home, where a family members was sleeping inside, officials said.
The crime unfolded about 12:20 a.m. in the 2000 block of Melville Drive, according to San Marino police Sgt. Tim Tebbetts.
Three robbers confronted the victim as he pulled into his driveway, he said. One of them brandished a handgun.
“(The gunman) pointed the firearm at the victim and demanded his wallet, keys and watch,” the sergeant said in a written statement.
Once the man handed the items over to the robbers, they ordered him to stay in his car.
“The suspects then used the victim’s keys to enter his residence,” Tebbetts said. “The victim used his cellphone to call 911 to report the incident, and stated his adult son was asleep in an upstairs bedroom.”
Police arrived within a minute and set up a search perimeter around the involved home, with help from neighboring police agencies, he said.
San Marino firefighters brought a ladder to the scene, which police used to rescue the adult son through a second story window, Tebbetts said.
After safely removing the resident from the home, officers searched the home but did not find the robbers.
Police described all three robbers as black men of about 20 years old, between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. One wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and carried a black, semi-automatic handgun. The other two wore black hooded sweatshirts.
No vehicle was seen or heard in connection with the crime.
Anyone with information is urged to contact San Marino police Detective Garcia at 626-300-0726. Tips may also be sumbmitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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‘Dual Valley Bandit’ suspect, linked to 11 bank robberies in San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, arrested in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A shotgun-toting robbery suspect arrested Saturday as he fled from a Pasadena bank is now believed to be a serial bandit known to the FBI as the “Dual Valley Bandit,” linked to as many as 11 recent bank robberies in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, authorities said Sunday.
Shownee Shon Smith, 41, of Pasadena was jailed Saturday afternoon following a robbery at a Pasadena Wells Fargo branch at 3701 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena police said in a written statement.
He’s believed to be linked to as many as 11 bank robberies since May 15, according to police and FBI officials. He’s been dubbed “The Dual Valley Bandit” due to his penchant to rob in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys.
Smith’s alleged robbery spree came to an end about 4 p.m. Saturday when he ran out of the Pasadena bank and into the waiting arms of police responding to reports of an armed robbery in progress, Pasadena police Lt. William Grisafe said.
“Smith was in possession of a shotgun and a bag containing money,” Pasadena police said in a written statement.
He dropped his weapon and surrendered without a struggle once confronted by officers, Grisafe said.
It was soon determined that Smith matched the description of the prolific serial bandit, sought in heists in cities including South Pasadena, Burbank, Woodland Hills, North Hollywood and Tarzana.
Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez commended the work of the involved officers.
“I am extremely proud of the first responders of the Pasadena Police Department who courageously faced a dangerous situation and were able to quickly take an armed robbery suspect, believed to be responsible for numerous bank robberies throughout Los Angeles County, safely into custody,” he said. “I am grateful no one was injured during this incident.”
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Smith was being held in lieu of $256,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

SURVEILLANCE IMAGES courtesy of the FBI

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Man arrested following armed robbery at Pasadena bank


PASADENA >> Police arrested a shotgun-wielding suspect accused of robbing a Pasadena bank branch onSaturday afternoon, officials said.
The heist took place about 3:50 p.m. at Wells Fargo, 3701 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Javier Aguilar said.
A bandit was armed with a shotgun when he entered the bank and demanded money from a teller, the lieutenant said.
But police arrived as the crime was still in progress, confronting the robber as he exited the bank, according to Aguilar.
Once confronted, the robber dropped his shotgun and surrendered, he said.
The suspect was described as a man in his 30s, Aguilar said. His identity was not immediately available.
The FBI responded to the scene to assist Pasadena police in the investigation, he added.
Anyone with information can reach the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Gunman in skeleton mask robs Monrovia motel


MONROVIA >> A gunman wearing a skeleton mask robbed a Monrovia motel late Thursday, police said.
The crime unfolded just after 9 p.m. at the Oak Tree Inn, 788 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Lt. Robert Wilken said.
The robber entered the lobby of the hotel, brandished a pistol and demanded money from an employee, the lieutenant said.
He fled with several hundred dollars and was last seen getting into a light-colored sedan parked in front of the motel, which sped away noth on Encino Avenue toward Huntington Drive.
Police described the robber as a black man between 35 and 40 years old, about 6 feet 3 inches tall, 250 pounds, wearing a skeleton mask.
No injuries were reported.
Anyone with information can reach Monrovia police at 626-256-8000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Pasadena man accused of armed robbery at 99 Cents Only Store


PASADENA >> Police jailed an AB 109 probationer from Pasadena on Saturday after he stole items from a 99 Cents Only Store, then tried to stab a security guard who confronted him about the theft, officials said.
Javeon Gregory Curtis, 25, who is already on Post-Release Community Supervision under the terms of AB 109 following a previous assault conviction, was booked on suspicion of robbery following the incident, which unfolded just before 4 p.m. at the discount store, 1720 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. William Grisafe said.
A security guard noticed Curtis leaving the store without paying for items and approached him about the theft, Grisafe said.
“A fight ensued,” he said. During the fight, Curtis pulled a knife and tried to stab the security guard, but missed, before running off.
Responding police officers soon found a man matching the description nearby and detained him without a struggle, police said. He was arrested once the victim identified him as the robber.
Officers recovered a knife with a 7-inch-long blade from the suspect.
According to county booking records, Curtis was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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