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IRVINE ( —- Two armed men suspected of robbing an AT&T store in Laguna Niguel were arrested at a church in Irvine, authorities said Sunday.

Timothy Bates, 25, of Los Angeles and Albert Brown Jr., 26, of Hillcrest allegedly stole iPads and iPods from the business in the 27000 block of La Paz Road, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The two men were tracked to Mariners Church at 5001 Newport Coast Drive in Irvine, where they were taken into custody, Hallock said.

The church was evacuated while police looked for other possible suspects.

Detectives are investigating if Bates and Brown Jr. also are connected to the theft of a vehicle in Laguna Hills just prior to the alleged robbery, he said.

The gun suspected of being used has yet to be recovered, Hallock said.

Mariners Church made a statement Sunday that read in part, “At approximately 11:30 this morning, police began pursuit of two armed suspects in a stolen vehicle from the Laguna Niguel area. The chase took them into Irvine and onto the Mariners campus near the end of the 11 a.m. service. The suspects fled their car and attempted to evade police but were quickly apprehended near the chapel. As a precaution, the police required us to lockdown and then clear the campus to ensure suspects didn’t discard any evidence. From our knowledge, no one was ever in direct danger and the Orange County Police Authorities did an excellent job caring for our community and containing the threat.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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