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.
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.