Santa Ana detectives looking to identify robber in multiple thefts at phone stores

Santa Ana police asked for the public’s help today in tracking down a serial robber suspected of at least four heists at phone stores.

The suspect uses a black, plastic rolling tote box to haul his loot in the takeover-style robberies, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, who said the latest heist occurred at a Verizon Wireless store at 1730 E. 17th St. about 9 p.m. Thursday.

The unidentified bandit is also suspected of robbing Verizon stores in Garden Grove on July 14 and in Seal Beach on Feb. 25. He’s also a suspect in a Los Angeles robbery, but it was not immediately clear when that crime occurred, Bertagna said.

In Thursday’s robbery, the suspect showed employees a handgun in his waistband and ordered them to lie on the floor as he stuffed phones, tablets and cash into his tote box, Bertagna said.

The suspect is a Latino man in his 20s, about 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall and weighing 220 to 250 pounds.

Anyone with information about his identity or whereabouts was asked to call detectives at (714) 245-8545 or email jmendoza2@santa-ana.org. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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