ALHAMBRA >> Police Wednesday arrested two men Wednesday, and continued seeking a third, in connection the robbery of a woman and the attempted robbery of a man outside an Alhambra bank last week.
Tony Ruacho, 51, of Los Angeles, and Leonardo Alfaro, 52, a transient known to frequent Alhambra, were arrested Wednesday afternoon in the El Sereno area of Los Angeles in connection with the incidents, according to Alhambra police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The crimes took place June 20 outside a Wells Fargo bank branch at 1910 West Main Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Tai Seki said.
A man was using an ATM when a robber approached, brandished a knife and demanded his money, the sergeant said.
The victim ran inside the bank to seek help instead.
The robber then turned his attention to a woman who had just exited the bank, Seki said. He snatched the woman’s purse, then ran to a getaway car parked nearby with a driver waiting at the wheel.
A third accomplice accompanied the robber and driver, Seki said. Neither victim was hurt.
A witness was able to provide police with the license plate number of the getaway car, Seki said.
Detectives found the car parked in El Sereno Wednesday afternoon and arrested Ruacho and Alfaro after they got into it, he said.
Police were still working to determined which suspect played what role in the crimes, Seki added.
The third suspect remained at large Thursday.
He was described as a Latino man, 40 to 50 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, of heavy build, with black hair.
Ruacho and Alfaro were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Friday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.
WEST COVINA >> Detectives Thursday arrested the second of two suspects accused of robbing a taxi cab driver after ordering a ride to Galster Park in West Covina.
The crime took place about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday at the park, along Aroma Drive at Galster Way, West Covina police Lt. Jerry Pearman said.
The suspects ordered a taxi ride in another city and had the driver take them to the secluded park, he said.
“It was a set-up,” Pearman said. The suspects allegedly pulled a gun and demanded the driver’s property, including his money and cell phone.
The lieutenant said the driver turned over the items and was not injured. The robbers fled, and police searching the area did not find them.
But detectives continues working the case and were able to use the stolen cell phone to track the male suspect to a neighborhood not far from the park, Pearman said. They watched as the man tried to drive away, then pulled over his car and took him into custody.
Detectives found and arrested the female suspect while serving a search warrant on Thursday, he said.
Both suspects were booked on suspicion of robbery, Pearman said. Their identities were not available Thursday afternoon.
PASADENA >> Police jailed a 19-year-old man after he tried, but failed, to rob the same Pasadena pharmacy three times on Friday, authorities said.
Christopher Russell was booked on suspicion of robbery in connection with the ill-fated, day-long crime spree targeting the same CVS Pharmacy, 727 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said. He was described as a transient known to frequent Pasadena.
He entered the store about 2:15 a.m., approached a clerk and demanded he open the register and hand over the money, the lieutenant said.
The employee refused and told the man, later identified as Russell, that the police were on his way. Russell left the store, but the incident was not immediately reported to the police.
Russell returned to the same store and approached the same cashier about two hours later.
Again, Russell demanded money from the register. And again, he fled when the worker told him police were coming, Mercado said.
As he left, he told the clerk, “I’ll be back.” The police were still not notified.
Russell made his third and final attempt to rob the store in the same manner about 11:40 p.m., Mercado said.
Employees called police, who quickly found and arrested Russell without a struggle.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Russell was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
PASADENA >> A man robbed another man at gunpoint and then bit him on the finger in Pasadena early Saturday, officials said.
The crime took place about 2:55 a.m. as Arizona man in his early-30s, who was visiting family in Pasadena, was walking in the 100 block of West Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
“The suspect approached him from behind, placed the gun to his temple and demanded the victim’s money,” Mercado said. “Fearing for his life, the victim surrendered his wallet and cell phone.”
The robber began to walk away when the victim turned around and tackled him, the lieutenant said.
During the scuffle, the robber bit the victim on the finger and managed to break free. He was last seen fleeing the area on foot.
Mercado said the victim suffered a “visible injury” to his finger but declined medical treatment.
Police described the robber as a Latino man between 18 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 200 pounds. He had short, black, slicked-back hair and a bandana covering his face.
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.
PASADENA >> A taxi passenger turned into an armed robber late Wednesday when he slashed the cabbie with a knife while trying to skip out on the fare in Pasadena, police said.
The crime took place about 11:50 p.m. in the 300 block of Cordova Street, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The victim, a 57-year-old Glendale man, dropped a passenger off after an $88 cab ride, the lieutenant said.
“The suspect fled the can and tried to run away without paying,” he said. The taxi driver chased after him.
“After he confronted the suspect, a fight ensued, during which the suspect produced a small knife and swung it toward the victim,” Goodman said.
The cab driver suffered a minor cut but declined medical treatment.
Police searched the area but did not find the robber, Goodman said. A details suspect description was not available.
ARCADIA >> A man who showed up at an Arcadia motel to meet an escort ended up getting robbed Wednesday evening, authorities said.
Niyah Brooklyn Milan, 22, of Chicago was booked on suspicion of robbery and false imprisonment shorty after the 7:30 p.m. incident at the Santa Anita Inn, 130 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said.
The victim reported he went to the motel to meet with a female escort he had met through an online service, the lieutenant said.
But when he arrived, Milan was in the room, dressed in female attire, rather than the escort the victim had conversed with online.
“The victim attempted to leave, but the suspect blocked his path,” Cullen said. Milan then claimed to be armed with a gun, though none was seen, and demanded the victim’s money.
The victim then left the motel and called police, who soon arrested Milan at the motel and recovered the victim’s cash, Cullen said. The victim was unharmed.
It was not clear whether Milan identified as female permanently, or donned female attire for the purpose of the alleged crime.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Milan was being held in lieu of $50,000 pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in Pasadena Superior Court.
PASADENA >> A Pasadena man shot at a market clerk and a group of customers who chased him from the store during a robbery attempt Wednesday afternoon, police said.
A SWAT team ultimately apprehended Justin Shawn Bryson, 21, of Pasadena about five hours after the failed 12:50 p.m. heist at Chan’s Market, 1237 Lincoln Avenue, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He walked into the store with armed with a handgun and wearing a bandana over his face, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. He demanded money from the cash register.
“(The clerk) walked away from the register area and began throwing items at the suspect,” Luna said. \
“The suspect fired a single shot from his handgun at the victim.” The bullet missed.
Luna said the would-be robber pointed his gun at a woman shopping at the store as he fled the market and ran north along Lincoln Avenue.
The clerk, a 57-year-old La Crescenta man, got into his car and chased after his attacker.
Three customers from the store got into their car as well and followed after the clerk, police said.
“(Bryson) turned around at one point and possibly fired at least one gunshot at the victims,” Luna said. He was last seen running down MacDonald Street, between Mentone and Glen avenues.
Neither the clerk nor the customers — described as a 70-year-old woman, a 50-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl — were injured.
Police cordoned off the neighborhood and searched for the suspect with the aid bloodhounds and a helicopter, Luna said. He was ultimated tracked to a home in the 200 block of MacDonald Street. “where he voluntarily surrendered,” Luna said.
“Detectives executed a search warrant at the location and evidence was recovered,” he added.
Bryson was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, Luna said.
He was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
WHITTIER >> Police are seeking a gunman caught on camera holding up a Whittier ice cream parlor last week.
The robbery unfolded about 1:30 p.m. on May 27 at Baskin-Robbins, 15234 Whittier Blvd., according to Whittier police officials and logs.
“The suspect entered the location and went behind the front counter,” Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said. “(He) then produced a black semi-automatic handgun and ordered the money from the cash register.”
After obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash, the robber fled from the area in a black, 2013 to 2016, two-door Honda Accord with tinted windows, Scoggins said.
He was described as a Latino man in his late-20s, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 170 pounds, wearing a baby blue V-neck shirt, gray pants, white shoes and a grey “Oakley” cap.
Police circulated surveillance camera images of the suspect via social media in hopes of generating tips from the public as to the robbers identity, Scoggins said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Whittier police Detective Jose Bolanos at 562-567-9281. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Whittier Police Department
PICO RIVERA >> Three men robbed a bicyclist of his wheels at knifepoint in Pico Rivera early Sunday, officials said.
The crime occurred about 9 a.m. as the victim, a 25-year-old man, was riding his mountain bike at Paramount and Whittier boulevards, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva said.
A 1990s-model Honda sedan pulled up next to the victim and two robbers got out, he said. A third accomplice — the driver — remained in the car.
One of the robbers brandished a knife as they took the man’s bicycle, loaded it into the car and fled, the lieutenant said. The victim suffered no injuries.
Deputies found the stolen bicycle later in the morning, abandoned on a Montebello Bus Lines bus in East Los Angeles, Villanueva said.
Detailed suspect descriptions were not available.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Two men beat and robbed a woman Saturday as she was stopped along San Gabriel Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora to take pictures of the scenery, authorities said.
The violent robbery took place about 11 a.m. near mile marker 19 of San Gabriel Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Elisabeth Sachs said.
A woman in her mid-20s parked her car and was taking photographs over the roadside when she saw to men approach her car, the lieutenant said.
The woman confronted the men, who attacked. “They struck her with their fists and kicked her with their feet,” Sachs said.
The victim fought back but was overpowered by her two attackers.
The robbers then rifled the woman’s pockets and fled with a small amount of money and other personal items.
The woman suffered significant but non-life-threatening injuries, Sachs said.
Both robbers were described as young Latino men between 16 and 20 years old.
One stood about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 150 to 170 pounds, with short black hair and clean-shaven, Sachs said. He wore a red short-sleeve shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.
His accomplice stood 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighing 240 to 260 pounds, with black hair grown long on top, also clean-shaven, wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and black shoes.
The attackers fled in two separate vehicles, Sachs said. One was a 1990s-model four-door Honda, and the other was a gray, four-door Saturn hatchback.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.