'Apologetic Bandit' arrested for OC robberies

MISSION VIEJO, Calif.

Authorities responded to an armed robbery call at a 7-Eleven store in the 24300 block of Muirlands Boulevard in Lake Forest at about 3 a.m. Friday. Deputies spotted a suspicious vehicle leaving the area and followed it.

After a foot pursuit and search, Farhad Sharifi, a 19-year-old Aliso Viejo man, was taken into custody in the area of Rockfield Boulevard and El Toro Road.

Investigators believe that Sharifi was responsible for about 10 robberies at gas stations and convenience stores across South Orange County. The suspect was dubbed the "Apologetic Bandit" because he was apologetic to the clerk and even said "have a good night" before fleeing on foot.

Police recovered a replica handgun, clothing and a mask similar to what the suspect wore in the series of robberies.

Sharifi is being held without bail. Anyone with information about the robberies is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (949) 425-1900 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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