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East Valley Focus

VAN NUYS : Man Denies Guilt in Robbery Spree

May 21, 1993|THOM MROZEK

A North Hollywood man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of stealing a car at gunpoint and using it to rob two drugstores and a liquor store in less than an hour, authorities said.

Arthur Thomas, 40, was arrested Tuesday morning. He is charged with a total of eight robberies in the San Fernando Valley over a 10-day period.

The robbery spree started May 9 at a 99-Cents Only Store on the 6200 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert L. Cohen. The next day, Thomas allegedly robbed a North Hollywood doughnut shop, he said.

Thomas then allegedly used a gun to rob two food markets on Sunday and Monday, police said. A clerk Monday at the Food Kart Market in Burbank was injured when Thomas hit him on the head with his weapon, investigators said.

The four-robbery spree Tuesday began with a carjacking on the 12900 block of Victory Boulevard about 9:15 a.m., Cohen said. Three stores where then robbed before police chased the stolen Toyota after receiving a report of a person driving recklessly, police said.

Thomas crashed the car in Hollywood and was arrested, Cohen said.

Thomas pleaded not guilty to the charges in Municipal Court late Thursday afternoon. He is being held in lieu of $225,000 bail. A preliminary hearing in the case is set for June 1.

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