GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) — Santa Ana police arrested two men Monday night suspected in a series of armed commercial robberies that could be related to armed robberies in Garden Grove and Westminster.
The Santa Ana robberies took place Friday evening, Sunday evening and Monday morning — where two businesses were hit just 15 minutes apart — but it was a Monday evening robbery in Garden Grove that might have given investigators a break.
According to Garden Grove police, a food truck was armed at gunpoint just after 9 p.m. near the the intersection of Euclid and Hazard avenues when an employee said a suspect brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded money. Police said the employee gave the suspect about $250 in cash before the suspect fled westbound on Hazard Avenue in a silver Jeep Cherokee.
The suspect was described as a black male between 40-45 years old, 6-feet-tall and between 250-300 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white sleeveless shirt and gray oversized shorts.
Just two hours later, officers with the Santa Ana Police Department’s gang unit saw a gray Jeep SUV that matched the description of the vehicle involved in the four Santa Ana robberies, and the passenger in the vehicle matched the suspect description from those robberies as well. Police said they found a replica firearm in the vehicle and took two men, one from Rialto and one from Santa Ana, into custody.
Almost all of the businesses hit were cash businesses — such as recycling centers and food trucks — and now detectives from Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Westminster are working on the case that they say includes at least nine recent robberies.
“It’s scary, and I’m actually kind of glad that he’s in custody now,” Jesse Rodelo, a food truck employee, said. “We don’t have to worry about it anymore. This is my family’s business.”
Police said they have connected the men to the four robberies in Santa Ana, and victims from Garden Grove and Westminster were being shown photos of the suspects to see if they could be connected to those crimes as well.