Same gunman could have robbed area market and liquor store

May 10, 2006
Santa Paula Police Department

A Santa Paula Police detective is warning merchants to be on guard after two armed robberies of area liquor stores occurred May 3 within minutes of each other.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesA Santa Paula Police detective is warning merchants to be on guard after two armed robberies of area liquor stores occurred May 3 within minutes of each other.Detective Michelle Velasco said that the robberies occurred at about 7 p.m. when a lone gunman entered Four Guys Liquor, located at the corner of Main and 12th streets and then Junior’s Market at Orchard and Oak streets.“There is an ongoing investigation into robberies of local convenience stores and markets” that have occurred in the afternoon and evening hours, said Det. Velasco.A male subject or subjects conducted Wednesday’s robberies - although the gunman could be the same suspect - who was wearing dark clothing and, although not wearing a mask, tried to conceal his identity.After entering the markets the robber brandished a handgun and demanded money from the clerks.The robber or robbers were “very demanding in their orders to the clerk and any customers in the store.”Customers were present both at Four Guys Liquor and Junior’s Market when the robberies occurred, but the gunman “targeted the registers” and did not attempt to take money or possessions from the stores’ clients.
When the robberies were reported SPPD officers checked the surrounding area including liquor stores and markets.Officers will continue to be “more diligent in keeping their eyes on markets as best as they can, but at this point the robbers could choose a restaurant or a gas station, not be choosy about selecting their victims.”Detective Velasco said that merchants should be wary: “At this point I would really like to stress to merchants in town they should be very cautious, make sure they have their surveillance up and running and not to resist any person trying to rob them. They need to cooperate fully so as not to injure themselves or anyone else. No one was injured and we’re trying to keep it that way, and we’re reminding clerks and witnesses to cooperate and not attempt to take matters into their own hands.”There is a “good possibility” that the suspect or suspects could not live in the area and targeted the victims because of the proximity of Highway 126.“I want to emphasize that merchants cooperate,” if a robbery is attempted, “make sure their surveillance is working. Try to keep the business well lit inside and out,” said Detective Velasco. “I would also like to encourage anyone who might have seen anything contact our anonymous tip line with their leads.Anyone with information should call the SPPD at 525-4474 or the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline at 933-4253-1-#. Callers can remain anonymous.Or, call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-Crime. All information offered remains anonymous, even if the tipster qualifies for a WeTip reward.

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