Police are asking for help from the public in identifying three men who beat and hogtied an employee at a Santa Ana cafe earlier this week. On Friday, officials released surveillance footage of the incident. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012.
Police were trying to determine whether a string of recent robberies at a strip mall were committed by the same men and were hoping surveillance footage from one of the heists would lead to their arrests.
The footage was from a robbery on Oct. 9 at Ca Phe Heaven, at 2271 N. Fairview Street. Police said three men beat and hogtied a male employee just before closing at 10:05 p.m.
One of the men used a baton to beat an employee, blindfolded him and then hog tied him in a back room. A second employee escaped and called police.
The robbers then took off with an undisclosed amount of cash, cellphones and a Rolex watch. They were last seen in a dark-colored, full-sized pickup truck, police said.
The robbers were described as Hispanic, between 30 and 35-years-old. One weighed between 250 and 300 pounds, was 6 foot 1 to 6 foot 2 and had a goatee.
The second man was between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 10 and 220 to 250 pounds. He had a shaved head, a mustache and a beard.
The third man had black hair, was between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 10 and weighed 180 to 200.
Police are concerned about a string of robberies that have occurred in the last two months at a hair salon, a taco shop and a jewelry store in the same strip mall as the cafe.
Police were investigating a second robbery at a store two doors down from the cafe on the same night.
The owner of the store, Jose Ramos, said he and his employees are nervous.
"We feel uncomfortable working here now," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call O.C. Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS (1-855-847-6227).