Anaheim and Garden Grove police Monday morning arrested a man they say is the "Note Bandit," a robber who has hit 20 restaurant and other businesses in six Orange County communities since last month.
In each of the robberies the bandit presented a clerk with a note demanding money and acted as though he had a gun.
Arrested was Kevin Brian Hamilton, 27, of Anaheim. Also arrested was Thomas Bradford Robinson, 33, of Garden Grove, suspected by police of being the getaway car driver, according to Sheri Erlewine, a spokeswoman for the Anaheim Police Department.
Both were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at Anaheim City Jail on suspicion of robbery. Arraignment has not been scheduled because several communities are considering charges against them, Anaheim police said.
The 2 1/2-hour surveillance that resulted in the arrests began about 9 a.m., Erlewine said, and included a police helicopter and involved trailing the suspects through Santa Ana and Garden Grove into Westminster.
In each of the robberies, Erlewine said, the suspect, before entering a business, bent his automobile license plate in such a way that the numbers could not be read. She said police watched Hamilton bend the license on his car Monday morning before entering a Hof's Hut in Westminster. The suspects were arrested outside the restaurant after a robbery as Robinson tried to drive away, Erlewine said.
No one was hurt in any of the robberies, and police would not disclose how much money had been taken.
Anaheim Police Lt. Pete DePaola said the robberies began about six weeks ago and continued regularly.
The businesses hit were mostly restaurants, DePaola said. Eleven of the robberies occurred in Anaheim, four in Garden Grove, two in Orange and one each in La Palma, Buena Vista and Westminster.