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Two Held, One Sought in Movie Theater Robberies

Father-son team and a guard struck after the Long Beach cinemas closed, police say.

June 11, 2003|Nancy Wride | Times Staff Writer

Employees at two Long Beach cinemas were bound and held at gunpoint by a father-son robbery team, who twice hid in theaters at closing time and then ambushed the workers with a security guard's help, police said Tuesday.

The 66-year-old man suspected in the holdups, George Ford Sr. of Los Angeles, remains at large. His son, George Ford III, 41, of Los Angeles and the guard, Reginald Wilson, 26, of Long Beach have been arrested, said Long Beach police Officer Greg Schirmer.

The elder Ford is charged with one count of kidnap for robbery and seven counts of armed robbery. "We do consider the father to be armed and dangerous," Schirmer said.

The robberies occurred when Wilson was on duty, Schirmer said. Though the Police Department does not identify businesses victimized by crime, it does give addresses, and they correspond with the AMC theaters.

The first robbery occurred May 18 on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach. The second happened June 2 in the 6300 block of Pacific Coast Highway.

In both incidents, police alleged, the Fords hid in theaters and confronted workers after moviegoers left. A large amount of cash was taken in each robbery, though police would not disclose the sums.

Wilson was questioned as a witness Thursday afternoon. On the basis of his statements, he was arrested on one count of kidnapping for robbery and seven counts of armed robbery, Officer Jana Blair said.

The younger Ford was arrested that night. Both men were arraigned Monday.

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