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String of robberies not linked, sheriff's detective says

Several suspects remain at large in violent local robberies

Posted: January 20, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A string of recent strong-arm robberies in the Santa Clarita Valley – cases in which valuables are taken from victims by force – are not believed to be related, according to the sergeant in charge of the Sheriff’s Station robbery task force.

More than half a dozen strong-arm robberies have occurred in the Santa Clarita Valley during the past few months, but they are believed to be the work of individuals acting separately, said Sgt. Kevin Blake of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Robbery Assault Team.

“There is nothing to indicate there’s a connection between these incidents as far as the perpetrators go,” Blake said last week in response to questions about a pizza delivery man assaulted and robbed last Monday. “These appear to be individual acts, all being investigated.”

The man was attacked about 8:30 p.m. Jan. 13 while delivering pizza in Canyon Country near Fair Oaks Ranch Community School. He was punched in the face and his wallet was stolen.

The perpetrator made off with $15 in cash and some change. No arrests have been reported in the case.

Blake said investigators are looking for a black man, about 5 foot 7 inches tall and between 160 and 190pounds. He is believed to be in his 30s.

Four days before the pizza man was beaten up, a lone bearded white man entered the Panda Express restaurant on Sierra Highway near Via Princessa in Canyon Country and asked for change for a $100 bill.

As the cashier prepared to make change, he snatched the money from her and fled out the door, the Sheriff’s Department crime report states. The suspect was described as 5 foot 10 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds with brown eyes and a beard, between 35 and 40 years old, wearing a gray jacket, black hat and sunglasses.

Robbery detectives began the new year following up on at least half a dozen unsolved strong-arm robberies reported before Christmas, many of them involving purse-snatchings during which the victim had been knocked to the ground.

Detectives continue to probe one particularly vicious attack in Newhall. The victim was a disabled man, and the attack came the day after Christmas.

The victim was knocked to the ground with a head butt from his attacker, who then punched the victim as he lay on the sidewalk, according to an incident report.

As the victim was yelling “stop” to his attacker, the robber reached into his pocket and stole his wallet containing $1,140 in cash, the report said. The robber then ran to a nearby car driven by a second suspect.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies are still looking for two men in connection with that attack. The getaway car was described as a gray Toyota Corolla with tinted rear windows.

One suspect was described as a thin Hispanic man, between 20 and 25 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 130 pounds with black hair and wearing a black baseball cap backward, a black leather jacket with a gray hood, and blue jeans. The second suspect seen driving the car was described as a Hispanic man about the same age.
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