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Robbery, Shooting Keep Police Busy

Crime: An hour after a car carrying six people is shot at, gunmen hold up a Mexican restaurant on Santa Paula's Main Street.

April 23, 2001|TIMOTHY HUGHES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Santa Paula police are searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting Saturday night and for two men who robbed a busy Main Street restaurant an hour later.

The incidents are unrelated, Police Sgt. Steve Carter said.

About 7 p.m., one or more people in a small, dark-colored vehicle pulled up to a car driven by a 22-year-old Santa Paula man in the 200 block of Palm Avenue and opened fire. A bullet hit the driver's door, but the driver, two children and three other passengers were not hit, Carter said.

"The victim has not been cooperative. He wouldn't talk to the police," Carter said. "That's a little bit out of the norm. Hopefully the detectives will contact the guy when he calms down and he'll give a statement."

About 8 p.m., two men in their late teens robbed La Terrazza restaurant on Main Street.

One of the robbers, carrying an Uzi-style semiautomatic weapon, ordered the owner of the restaurant to empty the cash register as the second armed robber watched over customers in the dining area. The robbers left and ran southbound on 10th Street, Carter said.

The robbery was the fifth in Santa Paula in the past three months, Carter said.

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