Trader Joe's targeted in 7 SoCal armed robberies

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Trader Joe's grocery stores in Southern California have been a target in a string of armed robberies recently and police are working to determine if the same suspect is responsible.

At least seven Trader Joe's stores have been robbed in the past couple of months.

Stores in Irvine, Culver city, Los Angeles and Long Beach have all been targets.

Now police in those cities are working together to figure out if the same person is responsible.

Long Beach Police say the two robberies in their city both happened at night around 8:30. A suspect walks into the store armed with a handgun, goes up to an employee and demands money.

The suspect gets the money and runs away.

Los Angeles police say four Trader Joe's were robbed in similar fashion.

Investigators are working to obtain surveillance video, but not all stores have surveillance cameras.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, a Trader Joe's spokesperson said the safety of stores and customers is important to the company.

"We trust our customers and do not conduct surveillance on them. When necessary, we take appropriate action, including having security cameras and security guards in our stores, to help ensure the safety of our customers and Crew Members," the company said.

A security expert told Eyewitness News that having cameras could deter thieves, and the presence of such systems has come to be widely accepted today.

"Surveillance cameras are very well accepted in communities everywhere, because people realize the importance of capturing crimes," security expert Joe Petrillo said.

No one was injured in the robberies.
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