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2 Held in Armored Car Shootings

April 06, 1995|LISA O'NEILL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Two alleged gang members suspected of killing armored car guards in Glendora and Hacienda Heights during the past year are in custody, police said Tuesday.

The suspects, Ruben E. Ruiz, 23, and Manuel Morales, 22, both of La Puente, are also suspected of killing a guard in Beverly Hills in September, 1994, Glendora Police spokesman Brian Summers said.

Ruiz was arrested on March 13 on suspicion of murder and armed robbery in the death of Ronald Cardenas, 28, who was shot in Glendora on Nov. 21.

Morales was arrested March 20 on an unrelated murder warrant involving a June, 1994, gang shooting in Baldwin Park, Glendora Police Detective John Cook said. Both men are being held at the Los Angeles County Jail without bail.

Cardenas, a Baldwin Park resident, had worked for Armored Transport of California for six years. He was shot and killed during a robbery at the Bank of America branch in the 800 block of East Arrow Highway.

Two men posing as customers entered the bank through the back door as Cardenas was bringing money in through the front door, police said. One of the men fired several shots at Cardenas, who fell through the front glass doors, police said.

Cardenas died at San Dimas Community Hospital after being shot in the head and shoulders.

On May 2, 1994, 37-year-old armored car guard Gregory Hagen was shot and killed during a robbery at a Hacienda Heights Bank of America.

On Sept. 6, 1994, Dennie Plese, 60, was killed during a robbery at a Beverly Hills bank. Police say the suspects were lying in wait for the men in each case, and after shooting the guards, grabbed the money bags and fled.

Summers said Glendora police have been working with the FBI to find the suspects; fingerprints and photographic evidence led to the arrests. Both suspects are believed to be members of an East Los Angeles gang, Summers said.

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