IE SWAT Standoff Ends in Arrests After Marijuana Dispensary Ambush Robbery: Police

Three people were zip-tied during the robbery ambush and one shot, said police, who tracked some of the suspects to a nearby Upland residence

An hours-long standoff between a SWAT team and men believed to have violently robbed three other men at a nearby Inland Empire medical marijuana dispensary ended in four arrests Saturday morning.

Two men and two boys were arrested after police used a claw device to rip open the facade of the Upland apartment where the suspects were holed up.

“I saw cops, guns, rifles. I saw guys on the roofs, which I think were the sharpshooters,” a witness said.

Three were arrested in that house, while the fourth suspect was found and taken into custody at a nearby apartment complex, Upland police said. The four suspects allegedly had five handguns in their possession.

Earlier, police said five men in hoods took money and a car from the marijuana dispensary, but they later revised that number to four.

The four suspects face charges of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping, police said.

The suspects are believed to have shot one of three men they tied up at the dispensary, in the 700 block of North Mountain Avenue, at about 10 p.m. Friday. The dispensary was about three miles from the apartment complex where the standoff took place.

The men were able to break free from zip ties and spoke to police.

A SWAT team arrived at the house in the 1400 block of Randy Street about 4:40 a.m. as police evacuated nearly 75 residents of the neighborhood. The long standoff ended at around 11 a.m.

Diego Sanchez, 19, of Upland, and Christopher Baca, 30, of Covina, were arrested along with two boys who haven't been named because of their ages, police said. It wasn't clear what their relationship was.

Police responded to Cal Med Express, located at 759 North Mountain Avenue, in Upland, just after 11 p.m. for a robbery call, Lt. Alan Ansara said. They found the three victims who had been tied up by the robbers, Ansara said.

The three men were leaving the medical marijuana dispensary about 10 p.m. Friday, when they were approached by males wearing gloves and hoods over their faces, police said. The victims were forced back into the business and were immediately zip-tied.

One of the victims suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg and was later transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Ansara said. Another victim was pistol whipped during the incident but did not need any medical treatment.

The suspects allegedly took off in one of the victims' 2007 dark grey Lexus IS 250 with cash and marijuana, police said.

The shop was not zoned to sell medical marijuana, police said.

NBC4 editor Oleevia Woo contributed to this report.

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