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Police stakeout nets suspect in numerous armed robberies in L.A., Orange counties

May 26, 2011|By Richard Winton | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

A Fullerton police task force has arrested a suspected serial armed robber after he held up a small food market he had allegedly targeted twice before.

Knowing that an armed robber had hit markets on Tuesday and Wednesday nights between 7 and 8 p.m and that HR Market in Fullerton was previously a victim of such a robbery, detectives were watching the store Wednesday evening when the suspect entered the store, jumped the counter and robbed the clerk at gunpoint, said Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich.

When Demetres Delvon Mitchell, 28, ran out of the store, he was apprehended by police officers who were waiting for him, Goodrich said.

Mitchell is suspected of committing armed robberies across Los Angeles and Orange counties during the last five months. Store video from previous robberies showed a similar pattern. He would enter the market, vault the counter top, point a gun at the clerk and take money from the cash register. He also would take numerous Lotto Scratchers before fleeing on foot.

The police officers who were watching the market are in a specialized unit created in 2010 that is tasked with responding to a variety of community problems, Goodrich said.

They spent hundreds of hours watching the market during targeted times in an attempt to catch the robber.

"Fullerton PD took these serial robberies very seriously and dedicated considerable resources to capture this suspect," Goodrich said.

Mitchell is being charged with three robberies in Fullerton since January and is suspected of multiple additional robberies in Orange and Los Angeles counties. These robberies remain under investigation.

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