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Armed robbers target roadside breakdowns in IE

September 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A warning for drivers on some local freeways: Armed robbers are targeting people whose cars are broken down on the side of the road.

For the suspects, their hunting ground is the Southern California freeway system. Their prey: drivers stopped along the shoulder.

The California Highway Patrol says the men are responsible for nine robberies over a two-day period, seven of them on Inland Empire freeways, on September 18 and 19.

"We have increased patrols and obviously increased vigilance. All the officers that are working are aware of these incidents," said CHP Officer Daniel Hesser.

Hesser did not go into specifics, but did say a gun has been seen, and it's been fired on more than one occasion.

The first two attacks happened on Interstate 15 at Limonite Ave. The third took place on Interstate 10 at Citrus Ave. in Fontana. The others that morning were on the 91 Freeway at 14th St., and then on the 91 at Arlington Ave.

On the second day, the first attack one was on the Interstate 10 at Tennessee St. in Redlands.

Then the men moved off the freeway and robbed a woman at gunpoint while she was stopped along the road on Lugonia Ave. in Redlands.

Then the suspects allegedly targeted a security guard in Mentone. They were caught on camera.

Both men were wearing caps and bandanas, but police say they may be working with others as well.

They were seen driving a white utility truck, but witnesses have also reported seeing a red Honda Accord, or a tan Honda or Hyundai sedan.

The last attack happened on the 210 Freeway at State St. in San Bernardino.

Even though there haven't been any attacks in the past eight days, many people are concerned.

"Unfortunately it looks like maybe crimes of opportunity, so we always want people, if your car is disabled, you can call the Highway Patrol and we'll come out and assist you if you don't feel safe," said Hesser.

If you have information about the case, contact the California Highway Patrol Inland Division at (909) 388-8000.

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