NORWALK >> A gunman fled with an armful of cigarette cartons after holding up a Norwalk tobacco shop Friday, officials said.
The crime took place about 11:20 p.m. at Cigarette Mart in the Norwalk Town Square, at Pioneer Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Smitson said.
A man entered the store and began arguing with the clerk, Smitson said.
He then brandished a handgun before fleeing with several cartons of cigarettes, the lieutenant said. He was last seen running west on Van Ruiten Street.
A detailed suspect description was not available.
COVINA >> Police are seeking a man who assaulted and robbed another man outside of a Covina 99 Cents Only Store earlier this week.
The crime took place about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday outside of the store in the 500 block of North Azusa Avenue, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
The victim, a West Covina man in his 30s, believed he was followed to the store by the suspect after seeing him at a nearby Stater Bros. grocery store just to the south along Azusa Avenue in West Covina, the lieutenant said.
The robber confronted the victim in the parking lot and demanded something from inside the trunk of the victim’s car, Walczak said. It was unclear what the robber was after.
As the victim ran toward the store, the robber chased after him and wrestled him to the ground, police said. The victim tried to use his cell phone to call police, at which time the robber grabbed it from him and fled.
The man suffered no serious injuries, Walczak said.
A detailed suspect description was not available. Though he motioned as if he had a weapon hidden in his waistband, no weapon was seen during the crime.
PASADENA >> A man with a knife robbed an ice delivery man as he made a delivery to a Pasadena supermarket Friday, authorities said.
The robbery took place about 1:30 p.m. as the delivery driver, a Buena Park man in his 40s, was sitting in the passenger side of his truck in the parking lot of Smart & Final, 3299 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
A robber approached with a knife in hand and demanded money from the delivery man, Mercado said.
“The victim said he didn’t have any money,” the lieutenant said. “The suspect pointed to a (Samsung) Galaxy tablet instead.”
Police said the robber fled with the tablet, described as a Samsung Galaxy 4. The driver was unhurt.
Officers canvassed the area but did not find the robber, described as a black man in his 40s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 200 pounds. He had a dark complexion, a mustache and short black hair. He wore a plain black T-shirt and blue jeans during the crime, and was armed with a black pocket knife.
ROSEMEAD >> A man robbed a bank along Valley Boulevard in Rosemead Tuesday, officials said.
The crime took place shortly before 11 a.m. at the Pacific Alliance Bank, 8400 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ernest Bille said.
The lone suspect entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash, the lieutenant said. He motioned as if he had a gun, though none was seen.
After obtaining cash from the teller, the robber fled the bank, Bille said. A detailed suspect description was not available.
No injuries were reported.
Investigators from the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau and crime lab responded to the scene, along with the FBI, Bille said.
A man and woman carried out a robbery in San Dimas and an attempted robbery in Diamond Bar before fleeing from deputies in the wrong direction down the 60 and 57 freeways, crashing their car and being arrested, authorities said.
The series of crimes began about 12:30 when the two suspects robbed a woman of her purse at gunpoint in a commercial area in the 100 block of East Via Verde in San Dimas, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
A man pointed a gun at the woman and demanded her purse before driving off in a getaway car with a female accomplice riding in the passenger seat, Edwards said.
About 15 minutes later, deputies received a report of a second crime along Sunset Crossing Road near the 57 Freeway in Diamond Bar, sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
A man and woman brandished a gun at a man and demanded property, but fled empty-handed after he told them he had nothing to take, Saleeby said.
Within minutes, deputies spotted a car matching the description of the robbers’ vehicle driving on Grand Avenue along the border between Diamond Bar and Walnut, Saleeby said.
They began a pursuit, but quickly cancelled it when the fleeing Toyota Corolla got onto the 60 Freeway, heading eastbound in the westbound traffic lanes, officials said.
The car continued fleeing, heading southbound in the northbound lanes of the 57 Freeway, Saleeby said. The car ultimately crashed into a cinder block wall at the 57 Freeway and Pathfinder Road.
The man and woman were taken into custody, Saleeby said.
The suspects’ names were not available, as they suffered apparently minor injuries in the crash and were taken to a hospital for treatment prior to booking.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a parolee and a second man with a loaded gun and masks after they followed a frightened Pasadena woman driving home early Sunday, authorities said.
Investigators believe officers prevented a robbery that was about to unfold, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Parolee Christopher Jevon Savery, 23, of Hawthorne and Cory Marquell Hartfield, 19, of Las Vegas, Nevada were booked for suspicion of robbery, Mercado said. Savery is also accused of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.
The victim, a 35-year-old woman, called police just after midnight and reported she was being followed by a Ford Focus with two men inside, he said. She noticed the car had been following her for at least a mile, from the area of Lake Avenue and California Boulevard to the 1400 block of Rose Villa Street, where she pulled over while talking with police. The suspicious car also stopped near the woman’s car.
“Our officers were able to respond very quickly. They found the car parked in front of a house with two occupants,” The lieutenant said.
“They conducted an investigation and recovered a loaded handgun in the trunk of the car, as well as bandana-style masks,” he said. The .40-caliber handgun had been reported stolen in San Bernardino.
The woman did not recognize the men, Mercado said. “Needless to say, she was pretty frightened.”
Investigators then went to Savery’s home in Hawthorne to conduct a parole search. They found a stolen shotgun, shotgun shells, and an additional loaded magazine for the pistol.
Savery was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records. Hartfield was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Detectives arrested La Mirada man earlier this week who is believed to be responsible for 15 recent armed convenience store robberies throughout southeast Los Angeles County and north Orange county, officials said Friday.
The arrest came Tuesday following the suspect held up a business in Buena Park, according to Lt. Martin Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau.
After determining the suspect in the Buena Park heist appeared to be the same as that in the previous 14 robberies, detectives began scouring the neighborhoods along the border between La Mirada and Orange County where previous crimes had been reported, the lieutenant said.
Deputies spotted a man and car matching the description at a liquor store at Stage Road and Alondra Boulevard in La Mirada, he said. They then followed the car to Hawaiian Gardens, where they pulled it over and arrested the suspect.
Rodriguez said. A search of the 38-year-old suspect’s home in La Mirada turned up a .40-caliber handgun resembling the one used in the string of robberies.
Seven of the crimes took place in Los Angeles County, while the other eight took place in Orange County.
The name of the suspect was not released Friday as the investigation continued. Sheriff’s officials described him as a longtime resident of Hawaiian Gardens who had been recently living in La Mirada.
He was being held in lieu of $110,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
COVINA >> Police are seeking three men who robbed a teenage high school student at gunpoint as he was on his way to school earlier this week.
The robbery took place about 7 a.m. Tuesday in the 800 block of West Griswold Road, Covina police Lt. Rick Walczak said.
Three robbers took part in the crime, and at least one of them was armed with a handgun, the lieutenant said.
“Thank God he wasn’t physically hurt,” said the victim’s mother, Sonia Frasquillo, who is running for a seat on Covina Valley Unified School Board. “He’s shaken up. He’s very paranoid, very jumpy right now.”
Frasquillo said her son was walking to Northview High School when a car pulled in front of him, blocking his path.
Two men with handguns and bandanas covering their faces jumped out of the car and demanded the teen turn over his property, she said. A driver remained in the car.
When her son replied that he had nothing, the men took off his watch and forcefully rifled through his pockets, backpack and sports bag, Frasquillo said, taking nearly everything.
The teen ran home and told his mother about the robbery, and she, in turn, said she notified police and the school district.
Northview parents received an automated phone call notifying of the robbery, though Frasquillo said the recorded message provided an incorrect location of occurrence. District-wide, parents received automated calls advising them to encourage their children to walk in pairs due to the Halloween holiday and earlier sunsets after daylight savings time ends Sunday morning, she said.
Frasquillo said she wanted to make sure parents were aware of the situation so they can better protect their children.
It was unclear if Tuesday’s robbery was related to a spate of four similar robberies and attempted robberies in West Covina on Wednesday and Thursday.
WEST COVINA >> Police suspect a pair of robbers may be responsible for four robberies and attempted robbery in West Covina Wednesday and Thursday.
All four crimes took place in the morning hours, and all four involved similar suspect descriptions and tactics, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said.
The most recent crime took place about 8 a.m. Thursday at Shadow Oak Park, 2121 E. Shadow Oak Drive, Lopez said.
A 19-year-old man was standing near his car in the parking lot when a gray, four-door car pulled up.
“Two suspects exited the vehicle and approached the victim asking what time it was,” Lopez said. “One suspect lifted his shirt displaying a handgun in his waistband and demanded the victim’s wallet and cash. The suspects then ordered the victim to the ground and then fled in the vehicle onto Shadow Oak Drive.”
The park robbery occurred about 40 minutes after two men tried, but failed, to rob a 51-year-old woman of her purse in the 1300 block of East Fairgrove Avenue, police said.
The woman had just parked her car when a light-colored, four-door car pulled up beside her, Lopez said.
“She then heard a male voice at her driver side window demanding her purse,” he said. “The victim hit her horn causing the suspect to return to his vehicle, driven by another suspect. The vehicle then fled west toward Lark Ellen out of sight.”
The would-be robbers fled empty-handed.
Two similar crimes were reported Wednesday.
A 36-year-old man got into his car about 6:10 a.m. inside a carport in the 700 block of North Sunset Avenue, Lopez said. Two men approached him on foot.
“One (robber) was pointing a handgun at him and demanded his wallet, phone and laptop,” Lopez said. “The suspects took the property, entered a light-colored vehicle which was parked behind the victim vehicle and fled the location.”
And a 71-year-old man was the victim of an attempted robbery just over an hour later in the 1600 block of Doublegrove Street.
He was walking alone when a newer, light-colored mid-sized with two men inside sedan drove up, officials said. The driver pointed a handgun at the senior citizen and demanded his wallet.
“When the victim said he did not have any property with him, the passenger suspect exited the vehicle and searched the victim’s pockets,” Lopez said. Finding nothing, the suspect reentered the vehicle which drove off eastbound on Grenoble (Avenue) out of sight. No property taken.”
Suspect descriptions given by the victims varied to some extent, but they consistently described being accosted by two Latino men in their 20s, both of average height. One was of thin build, while the other was of average build.
None of the victims were injured, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500. Tips may also be submitted to the West Covina Police Department’s anonymous tip hotline at 626-939-8688.
PASADENA >> Police jailed a woman on suspicion of robbery after an associate of hers intervened in a heist at a Pasadena gas station Saturday afternoon, police said.
Vanessa Leigh Bova, 32, of Pasadena was ultimately booked on suspicion of robbery, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The incident began about 4:05 p.m. when Bova, along with another woman, entered a Chevron station at California Boulevard and South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Bova grabbed herself a drink and asked the clerk for cigarettes from behind the counter, Clawson said. When the clerk turned his back, Bova pulled a what appeared to be a handgun, which was later determined to be fake, walked behind the counter and began trying to open the cash register.
The other woman who accompanied Bova asked her what she was doing and began wrestling the suspect for the gun, Clawson said. The woman succeeded, pulling the replica pistol from Bova’s hand and throwing it to the floor.
Clawson said both women left the store. Bova took with her cigarettes and other items stolen from the gas station.
Officers were investigating the crime when they received a report a short time later of two people arguing about a robbery in the 900 block of South Marengo Avenue.
On arrival, they found the second woman who had accompanied Bova into the store, but not the suspect herself, the lieutenant said. Police, aided by a helicopter overhead, soon found her near Allendale Park in Pasadena and arrested her without a struggle.
Bova was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, records show.