Police search 4 men suspected of attempted armed robbery in Irvine shopping center
Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying four men suspected of being involved in an attempted armed robbery at a shopping center in Irvine over the weekend, officials said on Tuesday.
At around 4 p.m. on Sunday, police responded to a plaza on Harvard Avenue and Main Street, where Harvard Place is located, regarding an attempted theft, the Irvine Police Department said in a statement from hurry.
An investigation and video of a bystander revealed that a white Mercedes sedan drove past a victim exiting Rubio’s Coastal Grill and through the parking lot. The Mercedes then stopped in the middle of the parking lot and two men got out.
Meanwhile, a gray Nissan Sentra pulled up nearby and two other men exited the vehicle, one holding a handgun in his right hand as he ran towards the victim, police said.
When the victim saw the man holding a gun, he ran to a nearby restaurant as the suspect was chasing him. The victim reached the restaurant and closed the door.
The gunman did not enter the restaurant and instead joined the other three men as they gathered near a parked white Range Rover.
The Range Rover “appeared to be associated with the victim,” said Sgt. Said Karie Davies of the department.
As the victim took refuge inside the restaurant, the suspects approached the passenger side of the Range Rover and appeared to be talking to someone inside, police said. The gunman tapped the window with the handgun barrel several times, then the four suspects ran towards the Mercedes and exited the parking lot.
The Nissan Sentra also left the parking lot on Coronado.
“It is believed to be an isolated incident and that there is no known danger to the community,” the department said.
Investigators are not yet sure why the victim was targeted, but it appears the four may have followed him to Irvine from the Los Angeles area, according to Irvine Police.
“For something like this to happen in Irvine on a Sunday afternoon, in broad daylight, is pretty daring,” Davies said. “We are the safest city for violent crime and have been for quite some time – 15 or 16 years now. Things like these don’t happen often in our city, which is why we are so eager to find these people and empower them.
The victim is not a resident of Irvine and was passing through on his way to another town.
All four are black and have been described by police as follows:
- The first man wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants, and black athletic shoes.
- The second man wore a black hoodie, black jeans, and black / white athletic shoes.
- The third man wore a black hoodie, black sweatpants with a red stripe down the side, and white high top sneakers.
- The fourth man wore a red / white / blue hoodie, blue shorts, white socks and black sneakers. He was armed with a handgun, police said.
The vehicles involved were described as:
- A white Mercedes A220 four-door sedan with tinted windows and sunroof. The first man exited from the front passenger side, while the third exited from the left rear passenger side.
- A gray Nissan Sentra with tinted windows, a black rear bumper with damage to the left rear quarter panel. The second and fourth man exited this vehicle as the driver moved to the front of the parking space.
Drivers of the two vehicles were not seen during the incident.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the incident or suspects is urged to contact Detective Haldor Larum at 949-724-7194 or send an email to [email protected]
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