Armed robbers targeting 7-Eleven stores in Santa Ana

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A trio of armed men have hit five Santa Ana stores 11 times in recent weeks. (KABC)

Santa Ana police say a trio of brazen suspects have been targeting 7-Eleven stores in a series of armed robberies - five stores hit 11 times in the past month.

One suspect has already been arrested after a clerk spotted him allegedly casing one store, but the other two remain unidentified and at large.

Their images were captured on store surveillance cameras. One suspect was seen wearing red plaid enter a 7-Eleven store in Santa Ana early Saturday April 9.

Police say the same store was hit again one week later on April 16 at 2:43 p.m. - by the same man, this time wearing a black T-shirt.

Two other suspects also appear on camera over the next three weeks.

So far there have been 11 robberies involving five Santa Ana stores.

"They look around, make sure there's not other people there and they go up to the counter and they tell the clerk they have a handgun," said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. "They show the butt and top of the gun."

On April 23 suspects hit three different 7-Elevens in the city the same day, at 902 W. Edinger Ave., 2112 S. Main St. and 818 W. 17th St.

One store, at 2112 S. Main St. was hit four times in the past few weeks.

Police call the suspects brazen.

"When they keep going back to the same location - that is in fact how we caught one of the suspects," Bertagna said.

Police arrested one suspect last Sunday, identified as Miguel Ledesma, after a clerk recognized him and called police. The 25-year-old was allegedly casing the 7-Eleven. He bailed out the same day he was booked for robbery.

Police say four of the robberies happened within several blocks of Ledesma's Santa Ana home.

News of the robberies was not surprising for some people who live or work in the area.

"They're close to home and they know what's going on," said Huntington Beach resident Kevin James, who works in Santa Ana. "They know their surroundings."

Police are trying to identify the other two suspects. One has been seen wearing red plaid, and is described as 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds. The other suspect, who was seen wearing a black/gray hoodie with a white stripe across the chest, is described as 5 feet six inches tall and weighing about 170 pounds.

Authorities are concerned about what could happen, since the suspects appear to be armed.

"If somebody tries to do something to intercede or something goes south as far as the robbery then there's a potential for violence to escalate is always there."

You can give information anonymously by contacting OC Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIPOCCS.

Related Topics:
armed robberyrobberySanta AnaOrange County
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