Colton gas station robbery suspect sought; owner speaks out

COLTON, Calif.

In a flash, the armed robber strode into the Colton gas station and demanded money. The surveillance video shows owner Dinesh Patel handing over cash. Patel says the suspect gave him until the count of three to comply.

"He told me, 'I count to three and you give me money.' So I gave it to him," Patel said.

The robbery happened in September at the Gas It Up on La Cadena. Colton police believe the suspect may be connected to another armed robbery last month at a Subway restaurant, which is a short distance away.

In both cases, investigators say the suspect concealed his gun with clothing.

"The M.O. is very similar," said Colton police Lt. Ray Mendoza. "The Subway incident occurred, again, in broad daylight about a month later. The suspect used a hoodie this time to cover his face."

In both incidents the suspect was able to make a quick getaway leading investigators to believe he is familiar with the area.

"Our units responded extremely quickly and he was already gone. He either knows someone in the neighborhood or lives in the neighborhood," said Mendoza.

As for Patel, he managed to find some humor in all of this. He says that last person he would expect to rob him would be a clean shaven 20-something-year-old.

"I don't believe he robbed me!" he said with a chuckle.

Investigators say the suspect has a tattoo on his right bicep. Anyone with information about the suspect or robberies is asked to contact colton police detectives at (909) 370-5110.

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