Man arrested after couple pistol-whipped, Rolex stolen during robbery outside Rowland Heights market

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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A suspect was arrested in connection with an armed robbery outside a 99 Ranch Market in Rowland Heights in which a man and a woman were pistol-whipped and had a $60,000 Rolex watch stolen from them.

ROWLAND HEIGHTS, Calif. (KABC) -- A suspect was arrested in connection with an armed robbery outside a 99 Ranch Market in Rowland Heights in which a man and a woman were pistol-whipped and had a $60,000 Rolex watch stolen from them.

Demoryie Watts, 21, was arrested Friday for robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm and a parole violation, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriffs' Department. A second suspect in the armed robbery remains on the loose.

The crime occurred on July 9 in the parking lot of the market, as a man and woman were loading items into their car after shopping. The suspects, both of them armed, attacked the couple and took the man's Rolex watch, the sheriff's department reported.

The daytime attack was captured on video, and authorities credit the footage to helping them in their investigation.

RELATED: Violent robbery at Rowland Heights market caught on video; 2 suspects at large

Personnel from the sheriff's department's Major Crimes Bureau served warrants in Los Angeles and Lancaster early Friday morning and arrested Watts at a residence in the 45000 block of Spearman Avenue in Lancaster, according to the sheriff's department.

Authorities say they recovered a handgun believed to have been used during the robbery, but the Rolex watch was not found.

Watts is a possible suspect in other similar crimes, the sheriff's department reported.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva wants to see L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón file serious charges against the suspect.

"I'd like to see the maximum sentence applied because this person does not deserve to be walking free among society because he cannot be trusted," Villanueva said Monday at a news conference.

Eyewitness News reached out to the district attorney's office.

"The District Attorney's office is reviewing the investigative reports before determining the appropriate criminal charges to file. We will continue to work with Sheriff's detectives in this case," the D.A.s office said. "Our Bureau of Victim Services remains available to assist anyone impacted by these crimes."

Southern California has seen a surge in jewelry-focused robberies, with thieves targeting people with Rolex watches or other expensive items at public places.

City News Service contributed to this report.