A 21-year-old parolee was in custody Monday in connection with the armed robbery of two people outside a 99 Ranch Market in Rowland Heights, and an accomplice was being sought.
Demoryie Watts was arrested in Lancaster on Friday and booked on suspicion of felony armed robbery, according to Alba Ibarra of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. He was being held on $150,000 bail, Ibarra said.
Watts was on parole for a carjacking conviction at the time of his arrest on Friday, and is a possible suspect in other similar crimes, Ibarra said. No description was released of the second suspect.
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 Ibarra.
The crime occurred on July 9 in the market’s parking lot, as a man and woman were loading items into their car after shopping. The suspects, both of them armed, attacked the pair and took the man’s Rolex watch before fleeing the scene in a white Dodge Challenger with paper plates, the sheriff’s department reported.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Rolex was valued at $60,000.
The crime occurred in a prosperous, majority-Asian section of the east San Gabriel Valley, and a video of the attack and its aftermath quickly spread through the local Asian community, The Times reported.
Shortly after the crime, sheriff’s Capt. Steven Tousey told The Times that the victims — a man in his 60s and a woman in her 50s — suffered minor injuries and did not go to a hospital.
The sheriff’s department noted both victims in the attack are Asian, but reported investigator found “no evidence to indicate the subjects were motivated by hate.”