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Man pleads guilty to string of robberies across O.C., including in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa

Emanuel Demar Banks.jpg
Emanuel Demar Banks, 39, of Los Angeles was arrested last December in connection with a series of robberies at gas stations and fast-food restaurants in Orange County. He pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree robbery and other charges Wednesday.
(Courtesy of Irvine Police Department)

A man pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to five years in prison for a spree of robberies at gas stations and fast-food restaurants throughout Orange County — including in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach.

Emanuel Demar Banks, 39, of Los Angeles pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree robbery and a count of criminal threats, all felonies, as well as seven misdemeanor counts of brandishing a replica gun.

Banks was arrested in December outside a Gardena hotel where he was staying, according to Kim Mohr of the Irvine Police Department. Police recovered evidence in his room linking him to a series of robberies that occurred earlier that month in Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Tustin and Westminster, Mohr said.

A man suspected in a series of at least seven robberies at gas stations and fast-food restaurants across Orange County was arrested Tuesday in Gardena, officials said.
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Two heists occurred on Dec. 8: at a 7-Eleven store at 12752 Brookhurst St. in Garden Grove at about 4:45 a.m., and roughly an hour later at a Chevron gas station at 400 E. 17th St. in Santa Ana.

At the 7-Eleven, he “took a Gatorade out, had some cash in hand and — same element as the other ones — walks up to pay ... and as soon as the register is open he displays a handgun and got away with cash,” said Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney.

Four holdups happened on Dec. 9: at a Chevron at Alton Parkway and Jeffrey Road in Irvine at 7:40 p.m.; a McDonald’s restaurant at 2452 Bryan Ave. in Tustin at about 8:30 p.m.; a Carl’s Jr. in Huntington Beach at 9022 Adams Ave. at around 10 p.m.; and at a store inside an Arco gas station at 3201 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa at 10:35 p.m.

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