By Miriam Raftery
January 12, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Sheriff’s deputies surrounded a Verizon store in Rancho San Diego last night, after a citizen in the parking lot saw two men wearing masks enter the store. The witness called 911 at 6:22 p.m. The tip resulted in arrested of two suspected armed robbers, both teens, as they ran out of the store on Jamacha Rd. east of Campo Rd. After the teens entered the store, “one of them pointed a firearm at the four employees in the store,” says Sgt. Michael Hettinger. “They demanded the employees give them the cash from the register and forced them at gunpoint into the back storeroom. The suspects then forced the employees to give them the cash from their wallets and open the safe which contained a large stock of phones.”
But the safe had a built-in delay system, so the suspects had to wait until the delay cycle ended. After the safe was opened the suspects ordered the employees to put the phones in bags they had brought with them.
Rancho San Diego Deputies dispatched to the scene set up a perimeter around the store. As the rear perimeter deputies set up, the two suspects attempted to leave out the backdoor of the store. Sgt. Hettinger says “Upon hearing deputy's commands to surrender, they ran back inside the store and attempted to exit through the front door of the business,” he adds.
The suspects were met by the front perimeter deputies and were taken into custody without injury.
The phones and the firearm were recovered inside the store. A large amount of money recovered from one of the suspects is believed to have been taken during the robbery.
After the arrest, it was determined that both suspects are juveniles, ages 16 and 17. There no vehicles on scene and no other suspects were identified.
No employees were injured during the incident.
Detectives from the Rancho San Diego Station are continuing the investigation.