An armed robbery suspect who’s on the loose could be responsible for a string of stickups of fast-food restaurants and gas stations in Orange County, including a robbery Monday afternoon at a Shell station in Wesminster.
Several of the holdups occurred within a several-hour period on Sunday, beginning with an armed robbery just before 7:40 p.m. Sunday at a Chevron gas station at Alton Parkway and Jeffrey Road in Irvine, followed by a McDonald’s robbery at 2452 Bryan Ave. in Tustin. The restaurant was robbed by a handgun-wielding suspect about 8:30 p.m., according to Tustin police Lt. Robert Wright.
Similar crimes were reported in Huntington Beach at 10 p.m. Sunday at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant at 9022 Adams Ave., and at a store inside an Arco gas station at 3201 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa that was robbed about 10:35 p.m.
In that heist, the handgun-wielding robber took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and ran off, said Roxi Fyad of the Costa Mesa Police Department. She said the suspect was described as a black man in his 20s or 30s, about 6 feet to 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighing 190 to 210 pounds. He wore a black baseball cap with white lettering, a black jacket and olive-green cargo pants, she said.
“We are aware of similar incidents that occurred in other jurisdictions last night and are in contact with those agencies,” Fyad said.
Police in Westminster were checking whether the same suspect robbed a Shell gas station about 1:30 p.m. Monday at 8990 Bolsa Ave., said Westminster police Sgt. Phuong Pham. The suspect, who was described as black and heavyset, showed a handgun and demanded cash, according to Pham, who said the bandit was seen fleeing in a beige car.
Anyone with information on the Westminster crime, including anonymous tips, was asked to call police at (714) 898-3315.
Tipsters who have information about the Costa Mesa heist are asked to call Costa Mesa police Detective Rob Dimel at (714) 754-5363.