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Newport Beach : Driver of Shuttle Van Beaten, Robbed

A 69-year-old owner-operator of an airport shuttle service was robbed and beaten by three unidentified armed bandits as he was completing a late-night work shift, police said Thursday.

The victim, identified only as a Tustin resident, was struck in the face and lost several hundred dollars in cash during the robbery, Newport Beach Police Sgt. Andy Gonis said.

Gonis said the victim, who owns the single-van Amtrans Shuttle Service, had earlier picked up two fares at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday night, dropping one off at the Disneyland Hotel and the other at a Newport Beach apartment.

As he was pulling the van out of the apartment complex at Mallorca Drive and La Salud, three men men armed with handguns jumped out of a late-model white compact car, climbed into his van and began rifling through his pockets.

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After finding cash, one of them tried to steal the van keys, Gonis said. When the driver told the thief to leave the keys, he was pistol-whipped in the face, Gonis said.

The three then jumped back into the car and fled.


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