Police have told La Jolla Light they believe the spree of commercial armed robberies (and one attempted pedestrian robbery) that have taken place in La Jolla over the past few weeks are connected, said Mark Herring of San Diego County Crime Stoppers’ Law Enforcement Task Force.
Although each case is slightly different, Herring reported the suspect description as “black males (varying from one to three), age 20-30, between 5-foot-7-inches to 6-feet tall, with a thin to heavy build, usually wearing dark colored clothing, including hooded sweatshirts pulled up to their faces, and usually armed with a silver or dark-colored handgun.”
On Dec. 16, 2014, the suspects robbed the La Jolla Village Lodge of an undisclosed amount of cash at gunpoint. The next day, police believe the same perpetrators carried out robberies in Hillcrest and at a taco shop near La Jolla. One week later, the Sands of La Jolla Hotel was robbed of approximately $800. Four days later, on Dec. 27, the Shakeaway milkshake shop on Pearl Street in La Jolla was robbed of cash. Within 20 minutes, the same men attempted to burglarize a twosome walking home from dinner, but did not get away with anything.
There is not enough information to connect other crimes reported around the same time, including two robberies at the Sunglass Hut on Prospect Street, to this series, Herring said. He also said he did not have enough details on the robbery of an individual that was robbed at gunpoint while at the Cove Dec. 21 to confirm it was carried out by the same suspects.
The perceived targets are open businesses, Herring said, and most took place at night.
However, police caution that a robbery can occur “Anywhere at any time.”
“We advise people to always be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity,” Herring said, “If a person or business becomes involved in a robbery, we ask that they be good witnesses and try to be as safe as possible under the circumstances.
“Officers throughout the city have been made aware of this armed robbery series, including Northern Division. Patrols in the areas affected will continue. Community members are encouraged to report suspicious or criminal activity to SDPD.”
How to contact San Diego Police
■ To report a non-emergency crime, contact the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division, which serves the neighborhoods of La Jolla, Torrey Pines and University City.
• Phone: (858) 552-1700
• Emergency: 911
• Address: 4275 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92037
• Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (closed 11 a.m.-noon). Closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday
• E-mail: SDPDNorthern@pd.sandiego.gov
■ Or call the San Diego Police Department non-emergency line: (619) 531-2000
• SEE RELATED STORY:
— Crime Wave: Residents advised to use caution as police investigate rash of armed robberies in La Jolla over recent weeks: lajollalight.com/news/2015/jan/02/armed-robberies/