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Robberies California

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NEWS
January 16, 1989
A former employee and a 16-year-old boy have been arrested in the shooting death of a pizzeria assistant manager. Sacramento County sheriff's investigators said they believe that Jeffrey Alan Cattera, 22, who was fired about a month ago, was the triggerman in the slaying of Robert Colon, 24. The assailants stole about $3,000.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 2000 | JOSH MEYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Like so many other multi-tasking Californians, James Joseph Lizotte bides his time in line at the bank by chatting on his cell phone. What makes Lizotte unusual, FBI officials alleged Tuesday, is that he robs the bank once he gets to the front of the line. Sometimes, authorities said, Lizotte hits up more than one teller at once, slamming his gun on the counter to show he means business.
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SPORTS
April 25, 1990
A veteran National League umpire was charged with stealing 4,180 baseball cards from a Target retail store in Bakersfield, authorities said. Bob Engel, 56, was released on $5,000 bail from Kern County Jail Saturday and is scheduled to be arraigned May 2 on misdemeanor counts of commercial burglary and petty theft, police said. A Target security officer told police that Engel put seven boxes of Score brand baseball cards, valued at $143.
NEWS
June 20, 2000 | From Associated Press
A former Marine involved in a string of West Coast bank robberies that netted more than $70,000 was sentenced to four years in prison for his role as a lookout and getaway driver. Nicholas Paul Hills, 22, of Juneau, Wis., pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery in which he and another Marine stole from banks in California, Washington and Oregon.
NEWS
June 3, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports
Five men robbed a jewelry store of up to $500,000 in diamonds, cash and expensive watches but three were arrested after chases and wrecks involving getaway cars, police said. The robbery in a shopping center Friday was similar to a string of jewelry store robberies in California that police believe are the work of a group tied to Southern California street gangs and dubbed the "I-5 Flyers." Two of the robbers were arrested after they crashed a stolen car, police said.
NEWS
November 2, 1991 | From Associated Press
John McKeel Jr., one of 52 Americans held hostage after the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Iran, was gravely wounded Friday in a struggle with an armed robber, authorities said. McKeel, 38, was shot twice in the head in the confrontation. He was rushed to Victor Valley Community Hospital in Victorville, where he was declared brain dead, said Police Sgt. Dave Gundersen. A medical team was on its way to the hospital Friday to remove his organs for transplant, he said.
NEWS
August 5, 1990 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
From the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, to the immigrant enclaves of Orange County and the housing tracts of the San Gabriel Valley, the method is identical. Four or more masked men, often Southeast Asian gang members, knock on a door in an Asian neighborhood and force their way inside at gunpoint.
SPORTS
August 9, 1991 | From Staff and Wire Reports
A Sacramento bank robber who said he made two dozen heists in part to finance trips to Raider football games, was sentenced to nearly 10 years in federal prison. Claude Jones, 32, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge David F. Levi, who also fined him $8,593. Federal agents said Jones, arrested in January at a Sacramento motel, was the most prolific bank robber in the city's history. He netted about $25,000 during a 10-week spree.
NEWS
May 1, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A 5-year-old boy, still haunted by the memory, says he was splattered with blood and watched in horror as his father robbed and murdered a woman three years ago, investigators said. "We feel the information the child gave is accurate," Police Chief Joseph McNamara said. "The details he gave fit the crime." A $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the boy's father, Erik Sanford Chatman, 25, has been offered through the city's Crimestopper program, McNamara said.
BUSINESS
February 25, 1992 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal judge Monday set Sept. 15 as the date Newport Beach investment adviser Steven D. Wymer will stand trial on charges he stole $113 million from clients. Prosecutors allege that the money disappeared while Wymer was supposedly investing it in federal Treasury bonds for about 100 cities in Iowa and California, including Orange. It isn't clear where the money went, since prosecutors are still trying to trace it.
NEWS
June 10, 1999 | Associated Press
Citing new DNA evidence, police arrested a man for a second time in the shooting deaths of three armored car guards during a botched 1991 robbery. Asad Shadeed Abdul Muhammad, 39, was being held without bail Wednesday. He faces three counts of homicide, one count of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery. DNA evidence linking Muhammad to the murders was found in bodily fluids taken from clothing at the scene of the crime, Police Lt. JoAnn West said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 1999 | NANCY TREJOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A ring of jewelry thieves that for decades has terrorized the jewelry industry throughout the country is resurfacing locally, police say. "It's rearing its ugly head again," said Det. Mike Woodings of the Los Angeles Police Department. Woodings, who has been tracking the ring since 1988, said the holdup of an Encino jewelry manufacturer last week appears to be the work of the national syndicate.
NEWS
December 8, 1998 | From Associated Press
The third suspect wanted in a string of carjackings and kidnappings in California and Nevada was being held on $4 million bond in Pine Bluff, Ark., police said Monday. Joseph O'Neal, 30, was arrested Saturday by Pine Bluff police and the FBI after authorities received a tip that he was staying in Arkansas with a relative. Police believe O'Neal is one of three assailants who took part in at least four carjackings and kidnappings in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas.
NEWS
November 27, 1998 | From Associated Press
Three career criminals are suspected in a string of robbery attacks on women throughout California, authorities said Thursday. Police identified the suspects as parolees Joseph O'Neal, 30, and Todd Anthony Williams, 36. A companion suspected in at least three of the attacks, Lisa Rena Johnson, 32, is wanted for questioning. In as many as five cases, the three abducted the women from their cars, robbed them of their bank cards for quick cash and left them badly beaten, police said.
SPORTS
March 18, 1998 | GREG SANDOVAL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Avondre Jones and Kenny Brunner, members of the Fresno State basketball team from Los Angeles, were arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly threatening a man with a handgun, beating him with samurai swords and stealing his money and camera. Fresno State Coach Jerry Tarkanian immediately kicked Jones off the team and suspended Brunner indefinitely.
NEWS
March 2, 1998 | MARK ARAX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The timing of the heist couldn't have been more perfect. Three hours past midnight, in between milking sessions at the Vanderwerff dairy in this small San Joaquin Valley farm town, thieves struck. They walked past the dairy's prized Holsteins and headed straight for the locked closet, bolt cutters in hand. Inside metal canisters suspended in 350-degree-below-zero nitrogen was the object of their desire: some of the finest bull semen west of the Mississippi.
NEWS
November 15, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An 8-year-old boy was killed in his home during an apparent robbery by three teen-agers who were all taken into custody, police said. Melvin Ancheta, a third-grader, suffered at least one stab wound and was slashed on the neck, Sgt. Dennis Luca told a news conference. Luca said Richard Ruiz, 18, and two boys, ages 15 and 16, all from San Jose, have been arrested. "They were friends of the victim," he said. "They knew the whole family." The body was discovered by the victim's 14-year-old brother.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 1990 | DAN WEIKEL
Robbery is suspected as the prime motive in the slaying of a Newport Beach woman who was shot to death at a secluded mountain resort her family owns on the edge of Sequoia National Forest, Tulare County sheriff's deputies reported Thursday. Investigators released a composite sketch and description of the suspect after interviewing the survivor of the attack, which occurred about 3:20 a.m. Sunday inside a log cabin at Camp Nelson Lodge in the southern Sierra Nevada. Bonnie J.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 1997 | Associated Press
An armored car driver accused of killing his partner and stealing $300,000 waived extradition Monday and will be returned to California where he faces a possible death penalty. Thomas Wheelock, shackled and unshaven, appeared before a Utah judge just long enough to sign the extradition papers. Wheelock, 20, of San Ramon, is charged with robbing $300,000 from an armored car he was hired to guard, killing his partner in the process.
BUSINESS
June 3, 1997 | Davan Maharaj
Seventeen people from California have been charged with the takeover robberies of two Southland computer firms, including the largest heist of computer chips in U.S. history, authorities said. Those charged are linked to "Asian organized crime syndicates" that have been pillaging California's high-tech computer firms, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Christopher D. Johnson.
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