Police seek help in finding ‘Back Room Bandit’

San Diego police Friday asked for the public’s help in finding the so-called Back Room Bandit, who is suspected of committing 15 commercial robberies around the county over the past several weeks.

The latest robbery occurred Thursday evening at Pet People Inc. in Point Loma Heights. Floral shops, bakeries and stationery stores have also been robbed by the Back Room Bandit, said San Diego police spokeswoman Monica Munoz.

He is a suspect in the Oct. 9 robbery of the Pet People store on Villa La Jolla.

In each robbery, a man entered a business carrying a metal clipboard box and asked an employee for assistance, then showed the employee a gun hidden

in the box and demanded cash, Munoz said.

On a couple of occasions, he actually threatened the employee with the gun, she said.

Eight of the robberies have occurred in San Diego, with the remaining seven reported in Chula Vista, National City, La Mesa and El Cajon.

No one has been injured in any of the robberies.

Police described the robber as Asian, in his 30s, around 5 feet 7 inches and 160 pounds, with short black hair. He often wore a baseball cap and black sunglasses. In some cases, he drove off in a blue Toyota pickup truck with a matching camper shell.

Anyone with information about the suspect was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. A $1,000 reward is available to anyone with information that leads to an arrest. Tipsters can remain anonymous.