Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies detained two men considered suspects in an armed robbery that occurred last week at a Foothill Boulevard pharmacy, just one day after two back-to-back burglaries were committed on La Cañada’s Belair Drive.
The June 4 robbery took place at around 12:51 p.m. at a pharmacy on the 2100 block of Foothill Boulevard, according to a sheriff’s incident report. A female employee was sitting at a computer behind the drugstore counter when a thin white male, around 30 years old and about 5 feet 7, entered the business with a gun and began to yell orders at her.
Complying, the woman put her hands up and told the man to calm down. He pointed the gun toward her and made more demands. The employee said she feared for her life and continued to comply with the suspect’s requests as he gathered her and fellow employees into a backroom and demanded they retrieve specific medications — Norco, Adderall and Oxycontin — and place them in a pillowcase.
The arrival of a customer caused a bell on the door to chime and startle the suspect, who fled the scene. After his departure, the female employee activated a silent alarm, according to the report. A second employee later told deputies the man had been wearing a brown face mask with the eyes cut out, a green hooded sweatshirt and gray sweatpants.
The suspect fled the scene. A sheriff’s deputy initiated a crime broadcast and an LASD helicopter spotted a Volkswagen Passat carrying a man matching the suspect’s description that traveled west on Foothill and entered a parking lot on the 2600 block of Foothill in La Crescenta. Deputies conducted a traffic stop and detained two males, a 24-year-old heavyset white man with black hair and dark eyes, and a 140-pound white man with brown hair and green eyes. But they could not be positively identified as suspects in the robbery, so were released.
Back-to-back break-ins on Bel Aire
Deputies responded to a residential burglary call Monday at around 12:58 p.m. on the 4300 block of La Cañada’s Bel Aire Drive. While they were contacting the homeowner by phone, another call came in from a woman driving on the 4300 block of nearby Beulah Drive who reported seeing three suspicious men wearing dark clothing and masks run past her and hide behind a parked green Volkswagen.
The woman saw a newer model blue SUV with paper plates pick up the men and drive southbound on Beulah, the sheriff’s incident report stated. A nearby resident reported seeing three juvenile males carrying bags walk through her backyard while she was washing dishes. Deputies searched the area and found a silver watch on the ground later identified as a stolen item.
Returning to the site of the original burglary call, deputies heard from a female resident who’d left her home that morning and returned at around 12:20 p.m. to find a folding table in her backyard opened and set under a bent gutter and disturbed roof shingles.
A master bedroom glass door off the second-story balcony had been smashed. Inside, deputies found multiple bedrooms ransacked. Surveillance footage showed a new, blue Ford Explorer pull up to the home at around 11:45 a.m. Two suspects exited the vehicle and headed for the backyard and were later joined by a third.
All three suspects appeared to be about 6 feet tall and weigh around 175 pounds. The victims of that burglary did not know whether anything had been stolen during the incident.
The second break-in occurred on the same block but wasn’t reported until the property owner came home at around 6 p.m. The man said his family had left at around 12:30 p.m. and came home to find a rear master bedroom French door shattered and several items missing, including two leather Chanel bags, a gold ring and bracelet, silver Cartier and Omega watches, high-end shoes and cash.
Deputies determined the suspects may have exited the rear of the home and jumped the fence to the yard of a second home that corresponded with the spot on Beulah where the three suspects had been seen by the witness.