3 Armed Robberies in Less Than 1 Hour

Two of the three robberies were committed by the same person with a BB gun, the sheriff's department said.

Updated Jan. 21 at 11:55 p.m. and Jan. 22 at 9:13 a.m.

An 18-year-old Imperial Beach man is in custody Monday evening after attempting to rob two local businesses with a BB gun, said Sgt. Joel Stranger with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Imperial Beach substation.

"It simulates a semi-automatic handgun," Stranger said about the apprehended gun. "I've seen ones that are a lot closer [to a real gun], but still, point it at me and I don't know."

The man, who has not yet been identified, first went to J&T Nails at 635 9th St. at 5:50 p.m. and asked for the cash register, Stranger said.

"That was more of an attempt. He didn't get anything from there," he said. "The owner doesn't speak English, he asked for a cash register and they don't have one."

Less than 10 minutes later, the man robbed Imperial Beach Pharmacy at 720 State Route 75 near Delaware Street, Stranger said.

The man was arrested in the 500 block of 7th Street and charged with one count of attempted robbery and one count of robbery with a simulated weapon, Stranger said.

Prior to the incident at the two businesses, two members of a medical marijuana cooperative making a delivery were also robbed at gunpoint at 5 p.m. in the Imperial Beach Gardens apartment complext at 371 Caspian Way.

"We had somebody down there who was robbed at gunpoint and it looks like he had his cell phne, cash and whatever marijuana he had taken from him," Lt. Kevin Menzies.

The suspects were armed with what the driver described as a "large, black, semi-automatic handgun," Stranger said.

Deputies are still searching for suspects in the medical marijuana robbery, Stranger said.

Suspect No. 1 is described as a black male adult, about 5'10" tall, about 150 pounds, with a thin mustache and a thin goatee. He was wearing a baggy, grey "SDSU" sweatshirt, saggy blue jeans, and a black baseball cap. He apparently told the victims his first name was "Aaron."

Suspect No. 2 is described as a black male adult, about 6'1" tall, about 220 pounds. The second suspect was wearing a red T-Shirt with dark colored jeans.

Anyone with information about this case can call the Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at 858-565-5200. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. You may also call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

Michael Gerzen January 22, 2013 at 04:29 PM
The item is not illegal under state law but I do understand what you mean
April Ann Olthoff January 22, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I was the one at J & T nail! His little BB gun was a joke he shot of on his was out than ran to Wally's across the street. They don't speak English at the nail salon.... It was the worst place to rob.
ibbarbara January 23, 2013 at 05:41 AM
I go to J & T nails every month. The girls there DO speak english, but with a heavy accent. Glad no one was hurt.
April Ann Olthoff January 23, 2013 at 07:55 AM
Yea they do speak some English, they understood what was going on. Poor ladies were all shaken up. I told her to lock the door when the kid ran outside
Mark January 23, 2013 at 03:01 PM


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