Orange County authorities sought the public’s help Thursday tracking down suspects in a series of robberies in the county, with four in Irvine, three in Santa Ana and two in Mission Viejo.
Irvine police set up a tip line for information, and anyone who can help investigators catch the suspects was asked to call (949) 724-7394.
Investigators suspect a duo is responsible for the rash of robberies, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
At about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, a suspect walked into the Courtyard by Marriott near MacArthur Boulevard and Main Street in Santa Ana, pulled a gun and robbed the hotel of $600, according to Sgt. L. Barragan of the Santa Ana Police Department.
At approximately 11 p.m., a man wearing a ski mask and black clothes walked into the 7-Eleven at 8693 Irvine Center Drive and flashed a gun, but did not get any money, Irvine Police Sgt. Mike Meyers said.
“He came in here, one guy (yelling) `money, money, money,”’ 7-Eleven clerk Ashewani Kumar told a news photographer at the scene.
Kumar said he continued to yell at the armed man until he left the store.
“Get out! No money! You go! Go!”
He said he was not scared during the entire encounter.
“God is my helper,” Kumar said.
The suspect was described as being about 5-fet-5 to 5-fet-7 and about 130-to-160 pounds. He wore a white T-shirt with a black long-sleeve shirt underneath.
Police believe there is a second suspect involved in the stickups who is about 5-feet-9 and 150 pounds. He has been seen in a black windbreaker jacket, an orange beanie and ski goggles, Irvine police said.
Other potentially related robberies were at the Doubletree Hotel, 60 Pacifica, on March 1, the Marriott at 7905 Irvine Center Drive on Monday and the La Quinta Inn, 14972 Sand Canyon, also on Monday.
The suspect was believed to be linked to other armed robberies in Orange County this week, Meyers said.
The first one in Santa Ana was about 12:15 a.m. Feb. 28 at a Doubletree hotel at 201 E. MacArthur, Bertagna said. Another one was about 11:50 p.m. Tuesday at Comfort Inn & Suites at 2620 S. Hotel Terrace, Bertagna said.
“It’s all the same MO,” Bertagna said. “They take a backpack, throw the backpack to the clerk and say put the money in the bag. They put the money in the bag and they’re out.”
On Monday night, between 10:45 p.m. and 11:15 p.m., two liquor stores in Mission Viejo were robbed at gunpoint, each by men wearing hoodies and masks who showed a gun and took an unknown amount of cash from each location, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.
One of the liquor stores was in the 27000 block of Marguerite Parkway and the other in the 24000 block of Alicia Parkway. Deputies were also considering whether a robbery of a 7-Eleven at Los Alisos Boulevard and Trabuco Road about 10:30 p.m. Monday was also connected to the same suspects.