LOCAL : School Bus Used in Valley Robberies

From Times staff and wire service reports

Police are seeking three men who used a yellow school bus while committing armed robberies in Pacoima and San Fernando, authorities said today.

The first robbery occurred at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Pacoima when the Los Angeles Unified School District bus pulled up in front of a produce vendor at Van Nuys Boulevard and DeHaven Avenue, police said.

The vendor, Clissiro Pacheco, 27, of Pacoima, unsuspectingly stepped on to the bus to deliver a bag of oranges to the three men on board, police said. But the door of the bus closed and the men, one armed with a rifle, drove off. Police said Pacheco was robbed of $130, then let off three blocks away.

Two hours later in San Fernando, a school bus pulled up behind Luis Garcia, 18, who was sitting in his car with a friend, Xochilt Gomez, 19, in the 900 block of Maclay Avenue. Police said two armed men got out of the bus and robbed Garcia and Gomez and stole the car. The bus was driven away by a third person.

Police said no arrests have been made and the bus, which is suspected of having been stolen, has not been located.