A Sylmar man has been arrested in connection with a robbery attempt on a police officer posing as a pizza deliverer, San Fernando police said Saturday.
Ruben Barrientos, 22, was taken into custody Friday morning when San Fernando police and members of the Cobra Corps, the Los Angeles Police Department's major-crime task force for the Valley, served a search warrant at his home in the 15200 block of La Valle Street, police said.
For the past month, undercover Los Angeles police officers have been trying to catch bandits in Pacoima, San Fernando and Sylmar who beat and rob pizza deliverers, often at gunpoint, said Detective Robert Glasgow of the San Fernando Police Department.
A Domino's Pizza outlet in San Fernando reported its drivers had been robbed 12 times in three weeks. The robberies are apparently unrelated to the slaying of a Domino's Pizza deliverer in Glendale last week, police said.
Last weekend, San Fernando police donned Domino's uniforms and began delivering pizzas to customers who aroused suspicions by the way they placed their orders, such as by failing to leave their telephone numbers or by calling in nonexistent addresses.
During one such delivery, to a vacant house in the 1300 block of Lucas Street, an undercover policeman was attacked by two 16-year-old boys and Barrientos, Glasgow said.
The youths were captured after five police officers stationed in the Domino's delivery van chased the suspects through a nearby park, Glasgow said. Barrientos was recognized by police but managed to elude capture until the search warrant was served Friday, Glasgow said.