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Corona, Norco Businesses Hit by Series of Robberies

Times Staff Writer

A single gunman who “brought his own paper bag” may be responsible for two robberies of businesses along 6th Street in Corona, police said Wednesday. In neighboring Norco, sheriff’s deputies are investigating a pair of armed robberies 24 hours apart that took place practically across the street from each other.

The attendant at an Arco station at East 6th Street and East Grand Boulevard was robbed at gunpoint of about $30 early Tuesday morning, said Corona Police Sgt. Henry Aja. “The guy walked in, brought in his own paper bag and told the clerk there to give him his money.”

The gunman, described as a Latino in his 20s, fled on foot, Aja said.

A man of a similar description walked into the Adult Book Store on West 6th Street and drew a handgun on the clerk Tuesday evening, Aja said. “He brought his own paper bag again, and asked the clerk to give him all the money.” The robber escaped on foot with $150 in cash, Aja said.

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No connection has been made between those two incidents and another pair of armed robberies in Norco earlier in the week.

In the first, a lone gunman entered the Steer and Stein restaurant on the east side of Hamner Avenue and robbed employees of an unknown amount of their own cash late Sunday night.

Because the restaurant had already closed for the night, “the receipts for the evening were already in the safe,” said Deputy Debra Wilson, public information officer for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The robber, described as in his 20s, carried a handgun, Wilson said. Investigators believe he may have had an accomplice acting as a lookout outside the restaurant. A day later, two men described as in their early 20s held up the ticket booth at the Crest Drive-In theater on the west side of Hamner Avenue, taking more than $200 and the attendant’s car.

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In describing the incident, Wilson said, “They made him (the attendant) sit on the floor of the ticket booth, robbed him and took the receipts from the ticket booth. And then they ran outside and drove away in the victim’s 1977 Datsun, valued at $1,500.”

Deputies had not identified any suspects Wednesday, she added. “We don’t know whether the two (robberies) are related or not.”


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