Robbers Strike Multiple SoCal Convenience Stores, Flee with Cash Registers

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    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: May 21, 2024 (4 weeks ago)

    A string of bold robberies has hit Southern California, as thieves targeted multiple convenience stores, making off with entire cash registers in a coordinated series of heists that left local business owners and authorities on high alert.

    The crime spree began late Saturday night and continued into the early hours of Sunday morning, spanning across Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties. According to police reports, at least six convenience stores were hit in quick succession, with the robbers employing a similar method in each incident.

    Security footage from several of the affected stores shows a group of three to four masked individuals entering the establishments just before closing time. Armed with crowbars and appearing highly organized, the robbers swiftly overpowered store employees, grabbed the cash registers, and fled the scene in stolen vehicles. No serious injuries were reported, though employees were left shaken by the aggressive nature of the attacks.

    One of the first targets was a 7-Eleven in downtown Los Angeles. Store clerk Javier Hernandez recounted the terrifying moment when the robbers stormed in. “They came in so fast, we didn’t even have time to react,” Hernandez said. “They just yanked the register out and were gone within minutes. It was really scary.”

    Police believe the same group is responsible for the subsequent robberies at convenience stores in Anaheim, Santa Ana, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Each location reported similar tactics and descriptions of the suspects, suggesting a coordinated effort rather than random acts of crime.

    Detective Maria Sanchez of the LAPD, who is leading the investigation, emphasized the need for community vigilance. “These criminals are highly organized and dangerous. We urge store owners and employees to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately,” Sanchez stated. “We are working with neighboring law enforcement agencies to track these individuals down and bring them to justice.”

    The rash of robberies has prompted local businesses to enhance their security measures. Some stores are considering additional security cameras, reinforced cash registers, and hiring security personnel, particularly during late-night hours. “We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Ron Patel, owner of a convenience store in Riverside. “We’re all on edge and trying to figure out how to protect ourselves better.”

    Authorities are also appealing to the public for any information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects. They have released images and video footage captured by security cameras, hoping someone might recognize the individuals or their vehicles. A tip line has been established, and a reward is being offered for information leading to arrests.

    Local residents expressed their concern over the brazen nature of the crimes. “It’s unnerving to think this could happen so close to home,” said Anaheim resident Lisa Moore. “I hope the police catch them soon. We should be able to feel safe going to our local stores.”

    As the investigation continues, law enforcement agencies across Southern California are coordinating their efforts to address the surge in convenience store robberies. Increased patrols and undercover operations are being deployed in known high-risk areas in hopes of deterring further incidents and catching the perpetrators.

    In the meantime, Southern California’s convenience store workers and owners remain on high alert, hoping for a swift resolution to the crime wave that has disrupted their sense of security and impacted their livelihoods.

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