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Pair robs 13 stores in one-night spree

February 2, 2009 7:03:59 AM PST
A widespread investigation is underway after a string of robberies at convenience stores across the San Fernando Valley all took place in one night. There were 13 robberies late Sunday night and early Monday morning, spanning from Canoga Park to Burbank. One person is in custody, but a manhunt is underway for a second robbery suspect.According to police, the two robbers crisscrossed the Valley, hitting convenience stores, pizza places and gas stations. It all ended at 3 a.m. with one person in custody.

In surveillance video of one of the robberies (Watch the video), you can hear the suspects screaming at the clerk to get down. Police say the pair of thieves would walk into a business and immediately pull out a gun. They were gone in a matter of seconds.

"They'd enter the gas station or convenience mart, present a handgun," explained Deputy Chief Michael Moore from the LAPD Valley Bureau. "They'd rob the establishment and then they'd move to another gas station. What was difficult on this was they would move all across the entire Valley."

They certainly were busy. In an eight-hour period that started just before 7 p.m., the robbers moved from one end of the San Fernando Valley to the other, from Canoga Park to North Hollywood to Burbank. Thirteen locations were robbed, and police believe the same suspects were responsible for all of them.

"We moved resources, of course, across the course of the night to try to capture these individuals," said Moore. "We recognized the pattern very early."

Police say there were at least two suspect wearing dark clothing and hoods. During their spree they changed cars, but police got a break. Early Monday morning, one of the cars was spotted and police moved in. One suspect is now in custody.

"One of our supervisors on the way home actually observed the vehicle - the vehicle used in the last half of the robberies - and called it in," said Moore.

Units from the North Hollywood patrol responded, stopped the vehicle and took custody of the individual. That suspect confessed, but authorities are still looking for at least one other person.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).


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