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3 arrested after West L.A. armed robbery

November 5, 2009 12:49:24 AM PST
Police have three men in custody following a robbery at a West L.A. gas station on Thursday, including one suspect they shot.Officers noticed a group of men driving around in a white 2008 Toyota Sienna, possibly looking for a place to rob. The driver was apparently going from business to business. Police eventually noticed the vehicle parked outside a Chevron Station near West Olympic Boulevard and South Bundy Drive just before 2 a.m.

There were two men inside the Sienna, and two men inside the business. Police said a few minutes later, two of the suspects walked out of the Chevron holding money and a gun.

Officers approached the suspects, and all four suspects fled on foot.

"There was a foot chase at La Grange and Armacost. One of the suspects turned to the officers with a gun in hand, and an officer-involved shooting occurred," said LAPD Lt. John Romero.

One suspect was shot in the lower torso. He was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

About an hour later, officers apprehended another suspect on the rooftop of a nearby building.

Police continued to canvass the area, and nearly six hours after the initial robbery, officers finally smoked out the third suspect. He was hiding behind a group of businesses off Olympic Boulevard and South Bundy Drive.

"He was found just next to a garbage bin, actually underneath the garbage bin," said LAPD Sgt. Howard Leslie.

"We find that to happen often, where they'll try and hide in certain places and wait for us to come and leave," Leslie said.

Romero said police have two guns and the suspects' van in custody.

The incident had the West L.A. neighborhood in a state of panic Thursday morning.

"It kind of just goes to your gut to know that it happened so close. My husband was in the front room, and anything could have gone through our front glass," said neighbor Gretchen Topputo.

Police are still looking for one more suspect and believe he may still be hiding in the area.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD's West L.A. station at (310) 444-0701.


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