Costa Mesa : Four Held in String of Motel Armed Robberies

Two men and two women were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of holding up half a dozen Costa Mesa motels and robbing the clerks at gunpoint, police said.

Costa Mesa Police Lt. Tom Lazar said the four also are being investigated in connection with a recent rash of armed robberies in Anaheim, Westminster, Newport Beach and Los Angeles County.

The most recent Costa Mesa robbery occurred about 10 a.m. Monday, when a robber confronted a clerk at the California 6 Motel on Harbor Boulevard, brandished a handgun, demanded money and ordered the clerk to put the cash in a bag, Sgt. John White said.

The robber ran to a getaway car and escaped, but the clerk saw the license plate number, White said.

At about 7 a.m. Tuesday, Lazar said, Costa Mesa Officer Bob Phillips was on routine patrol but paying special attention to local motels when he spotted the car at the Ha'Penny Inn and learned which room the driver was staying in. Other officers were called to the scene and the four suspects were arrested without resistance, Lazar said. The men were booked into the Costa Mesa City Jail, which has no facilities for women prisoners; the women were taken to Orange County Jail. Each was held in lieu of $50,000 bail on suspicion of armed robbery.

The police would not disclose the names of those arrested because officers are looking for a fifth suspect in the robberies.

Clerks at the six Costa Mesa motels were to view photographic "lineups," Lazar said, to see if they could identify any of those arrested.

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