Police are investigating three armed robberies — two of which they believe to be connected — that occurred within hours of each other overnight on Tuesday and Wednesday in Riverside.
The string of robberies began Tuesday night with two armed masked men demanding cash and cellphones from a semi-truck driver sleeping in his vehicle at the corner of Jackson Street and Van Buren Boulevard, according to Riverside Police.
Several minutes later, the same men robbed Riverside resident Megan Sanders while she sat in her driveway, police said.
"I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but I thought it was just the neighbors," Sanders said. "This man came up to me, and he held a gun up.'"
Sanders said she panicked at the sight of the man's masked face.
The man told her to hush, she said, then took the phone out of her hand and slowly grabbed her backpack from her lap. Sanders recounts that when he requested her keys, she told him she had lost them, and he subsequently left with another man in a car.
In the third armed robbery, a 7-Eleven on Magnolia Avenue was held up a few hours after Sanders was robbed, police said, but they do not believe it was linked to the other robberies.
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Police also do not believe the masked men are the same as the culprits involved in a Tuesday evening robbery on a Mt. Rubidoux trail in Riverside. Two men, armed with a handgun and metal pipe, robbed a group of hikers.
The masked assailants in the linked robberies hopped into a car described by police as a silver Nissan sedan with a woman behind the wheel.
"If something is demanded of you...please give it up. It's not more valuable than a human life," Lt. Christian Dinco said.
Sanders, meanwhile, has a message for robbers.
"Go out and get a job. You don't have to steal from other people who work hard," she said.
Officials ask that anyone with information about these incidents call the Riverside Police Department at (951) 826-5700.