MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA) — Authorities say a Mission Viejo man was behind a five-week armed robbery spree from Orange to San Bernardino counties.

Matthew Scott Rendon, 36, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of committing armed robberies at ice cream shops, game stores, and gas stations with an American flag bandanna tied around his face. The robberies happened in Aliso Viejo, Chino, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, and Laguna Niguel from Nov. 29 to Dec. 30, 2017, according to Mission Viejo police.

The total loss from all nine robberies was about $3,500, Mission Viejo police spokeswoman Jaimee Blashaw said.

Investigators were able to track down a suspect because he seemed to keep with a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule and preferred stores in strip malls along busy streets. Using these clues, Blashaw said investigators identified Rendon as the suspect and found him Tuesday night in Mission Viejo.

A handgun, an American flag bandanna, and a thick flannel shirt – another signature of the robber – were found in Rendon’s car, leading investigators to believe he was on his way to commit another armed robbery, Blashaw said.

Rendon was arrested on suspicion of felony armed robbery and felony violation of parole and is being held on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

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