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Federal agents nab alleged robbery crew in Glendale

Federal agents nab alleged robbery crew in Glendale
Four people were arrested in Glendale Thursday by federal agents on suspicion of robbing several cellphone stores in California and one in Arizona. (File Art / Glendale News-Press)

A group suspected of committing several armed robberies in Southern California and Arizona were apprehended in Glendale on Thursday by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who were joined by local police.

The four-person crew is said to have targeted at least five Verizon Wireless stores across Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties in the past five months.

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A sixth robbery said to be connected to the others occurred Wednesday evening at a Verizon store in Tuscon, according to Ginger Colbrun, a spokeswoman for the ATF.

"Our agent here in Los Angeles started investigating the Verizon robberies in October and saw commonalities in them," she said.

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In each robbery, the suspects would mainly target the cellphones at the stores. Because of their similarities, Colbrun said it was believed that the Arizona and California incidents were all connected.

Federal agents tracked the group to Glendale. With the help of the Glendale Police Department, all four suspects were taken into custody without incident.

One of the suspected robbers was a Glendale resident, 23-year-old Gaspar Khachaturyan. The rest — 41-year-old Zachary Wade, 30-year-old Marques Pettywright and 29-year-old Randall Tate — live in Long Beach.

A fifth person was also taken into custody but was later released, according to Colbrun.

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She said the group may be responsible for additional robberies of Verizon stores.

Anyone with information can contact the ATF at (888) 283-8477.

"We're not just asking community members who have information but other law enforcement agencies investigating similar robberies to contact us," she said.

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

UPDATES:

2:25 p.m.: This article was updated with information from ATF on how many people were arrested.

This article was originally published at 11:55 a.m.

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