A South Bay man is facing federal charges alleging he went on a five-day armed robbery spree targeting nearly a dozen Los Angeles-area businesses, including four doughnut shops and the attempted robbery of a veterinarian’s office, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Justin Washington, 32, of Gardena, was named in a 14-count federal grand jury indictment returned Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He is charged with 11 Hobbs Act robbery charges and three counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Washington’s arraignment is expected in the coming weeks. He is currently in custody on separate state charges.
The indictment alleges that between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4 last year, Washington robbed or attempted to rob a series of businesses in the South Bay and in South Los Angeles. His alleged spree began at a Gardena grocery store robbed on consecutive days on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
From there, Washington allegedly robbed a 7-Eleven store, a doughnut shop and attempted to rob a veterinarian’s office in Gardena. He allegedly then went on to rob a doughnut shop in Torrance, and, in South Los Angeles, a wireless phone store, a dry cleaner business, two additional doughnut shops and a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store.
During the robberies, Washington allegedly held the stores’ employees against their will, including, as charged in three counts, at gunpoint.
The total loss alleged in the indictment is $5,679, prosecutors said.
A violation of the Hobbs Act carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison. The offense of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a possible maximum of life in federal prison.