An investigation into the armed robbery of an armored car and wounding of a guard in Sonoma County has led to the arrest of two men, one of whom has been linked to the killing last year of a San Dimas sandwich shop owner, authorities said today.
Sergey Gutsu and Ivan Morales were arrested in connection with the armed robbery Tuesday, the same day it was committed, authorities said.
Gutsu, 24, was interviewed by Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives on Wednesday in Santa Rosa and "admitted to being involved in the" fatal shooting of Pravin Patel on June 2, 2015, authorities said.
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Patel, 62, was shot and killed during a robbery at his Quiznos sandwich shop at 1034 W. Arrow Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He dreamed of retiring to spend more time with his grandchildren.
According to detectives, a suspect approached the cashier's counter brandishing a semiautomatic handgun and demanding money, and Patel gave him a bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash.
Patel then followed the robber outside, where a brief struggle ensued in the parking lot and he was shot, the sheriff's department reported. He died at a hospital that night.
Los Angeles County supervisors had offered a $20,000 reward in the case and a composite sketch of the gunman was circulated.
Sonoma County sheriff's detectives allege that Gutsu and Morales, 23, have been involved in crimes throughout the state, including the robbery on March 29 of an armored car guard outside a Ralphs supermarket at Chatsworth.
Street and Zelzah Avenue in Granada Hills, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.
Gutsu and Morales have been arraigned in Sonoma County on attempted murder, armed robbery and conspiracy charges and remain in custody, according to the Press-Democrat.
Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide detectives are continuing to investigate Gutsu's alleged involvement in Patel's killing.
Gutsu faces possible charges in Napa County, where the Calistoga police officer was fired upon, and in connection with the Patel homicide.
Both Gutsu and Morales are from Northern California.