SAN FERNANDO VALLEY : Robbers Hold Up 4 Stores in 2 Hours, Shoot Man

Armed robbers held up at least four San Fernando Valley stores between midnight and 2 a.m. Monday, shooting a man outside a convenience store but apparently netting comparatively little money.

“In the whole crime spree, I don’t think they got more than $500,” said Mel Arnold, a robbery detective in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys Division.

The shooting victim, whose identity was withheld for his safety, was hospitalized in serious but stable condition and was expected to survive, police said.

The robberies took place at four 7-Elevens, and the same gunmen may also have hit a doughnut shop in the 14860 block of Sherman Way at about 1:30 a.m., police said.


Although police believed all the holdups were the work of the same robbers, they were unsure how many there were, saying witness descriptions and videotapes by store security cameras appeared to indicate that two to four robbers in their teens or early twenties were involved.

“The M.O. and the physical descriptions appear to be the same,” said Lt. Dan Hoffman of the LAPD’s Valley headquarters. “But that is why (detectives) are all looking at all the tapes, to see if they are the same or if it is just coincidental.”

Devonshire Division robbery Detective Michael Brandt said the gunmen “come in in masks, in twos or threes, jump over the counter and take the money trays.” In most cases, they shouted at cashiers to give up their money or be shot, he said.