City News Service

Fast-Food Stickups: Surveillance Footage of Armed Robbery Suspect Released

Police Tuesday released video footage in hopes of capturing an armed robbery suspect who may be responsible for as many as 23 fast-food restaurant stickups since July 10 in multiple northern Orange County cities.

He has been linked to at least three armed robberies in Santa Ana, most recently at a Jack in the Box at 820 N. Harbor Blvd. about 8:30 p.m. Monday, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. He showed a clerk a gun and demanded cash, Bertagna said.

An El Pollo Loco at 101 S. Harbor Blvd. and a McDonald's at 666 S. Harbor Blvd. were robbed on July 17 and 18, Bertagna said.

In the El Pollo Loco robbery, he wore a wig.

"We believe this one individual has done up to 23 (robberies) countywide since the 10th and we're working with other agencies,'' Bertagna said.

In Orange, a Del Taco restaurant at 1301 E. Katella Ave. was robbed last Thursday about 9:15 p.m., said Sgt. Phil McMullen.

The suspect is also suspected of a hold-up at a Chipotle restaurant at 16241 Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach about 9:40 p.m. Monday.

Police responded to a report of a robbery in progress, but the gunman was gone when officers arrived, said Huntington Beach police Sgt. Tom Weizoerick.

The man took at least $500 and fled out the front door going south on Beach Boulevard, Weizoerick said. A containment perimeter was established, but police were unable to locate the robber, who was wearing a white shirt, a baseball cap and green pants.

According to Bertagna, Garden Grove police may take the lead on the investigation since that city has had the most stickups linked to the unidentified robber, who is described as Latino, 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with short black curly hair. He has a heavy build and medium complexion and wears thick-rimmed glasses, Bertagna said.

Anyone with information about his identity or whereabouts was asked to call Santa Ana police detectives at (714) 245-8362 or at dgreaver@santa-ana.org. Orange County Crime Stoppers, which can be reached at (855) TIP-OCCS, accepts anonymous tips.

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