Two of three weekend armed robberies might be related
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Police Department
Published: February 01, 2013
Santa Paula Police are looking for at least two men after a series of robberies that plagued area merchants over the weekend.
Two of the incidents appear to be related, with robbers striking a pizza parlor and neighborhood market within minutes of each other Friday night.
According to Santa Paula Police Investigations Supervisor Ken Clark, an armed robbery was reported at about 9:19 p.m. January 25 and police responded to Little Caesars Pizza, 309 W. Harvard Blvd. Upon arrival officers were told, “Two suspects entered the restaurant with at least one of the suspects armed with a handgun. Both suspects fled the restaurant with an undisclosed amount of money.”
About 15 minutes after the call of the robbery at Little Caesar’s Pizza, at approximately 9:34 p.m., SPPD officers responded to a call of a robbery across town at Rancho Sunset Produce, 112 N. Oak Street. Clark said the suspects matched the description of the previous suspects, and “at least one of them was armed with a handgun.” The suspects fled the market with an undisclosed amount of money.
There was no time wasted in the robberies. Clark said the suspects “went in, displayed the gun, went straight to the register and took money.”
On Sunday, January 27 at approximately 1:57 p.m., two suspects entered Los Compadres Fashion at 949 E. Main St. at the corner of Mill Street. The two suspects grabbed an undisclosed amount of money and gold jewelry from the display cases then fled in a waiting vehicle.
“At least one of the suspects was armed with a handgun,” although Clark said it is “unknown if the robbery at Los Compadres Fashion is related to the previous two robberies.” One of the suspects dropped a black hat as they ran from the scene, and witnesses reported a vehicle speeding down the alley behind the business following the robbery.
In all three incidents, Clark said the suspects wore “facial coverings” to hide their identities. When confronted by the armed robberies, the merchants acted correctly and no one was injured.
“The best thing is not to resist,” said Clark, and be observant so you can help describe the robber and their clothing. “Don’t attempt” to confront the robber, “just let them do what they’re going to do,” and once the robber leaves the business pay attention to what direction they flee in and how - on foot or in a vehicle. If it’s the latter, the victim should note the vehicle’s make and model. Once the robber has left the premises, Clark said to “immediately call 9-1-1.”
He urged that merchants “check their surveillance systems and make sure they’re working... and if they don’t have a system they should get one.” As surveillance systems have become more efficient, the units have also become more affordable. In addition, they are a great tool in identifying and prosecuting criminals.
Clark said as yet there have been no arrests made in connection with these robberies. “The investigation into the robberies is ongoing,” and Clark said investigators are asking anyone with information regarding these incidents to contact Detective Michael Hoppin at (805) 525-4474 ext. 287. If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-4253-1-#.
Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org.
Tipsters can be eligible to receive a $1,000 reward.