By Mary O’KEEFE
A lone suspect wielding a handgun entered the Starbucks store in the 400 block of Foothill Boulevard Saturday night, at about 9 p.m. just before closing. He immediately confronted the two clerks at gunpoint and threatened to kill them if they didn’t give him the cash from the store registers and safe.
After the clerks gave the suspect cash from the registers, he forced them into the storeroom. Once there, he ordered one clerk to lay on the floor while he had the other clerk give him additional cash from the safe. The clerks were ordered by the suspect to remain on the floor as he walked out of the storeroom with approximately $1,500.
The only patron in the store at the time, a 70-year-old female visiting the area from out of state, was seated at a table and unaware that the robbery was taking place. Knowing it was closing time, she began to exit the store. She first stopped at the counter to tell the clerks she was leaving since she was the only remaining customer. The woman could hear a commotion in the rear storeroom, but was unable to get the attention of either clerk.
Moments later, the suspect walked quickly out of the storeroom and said something to the woman. Still not realizing the man was robbing the store, she asked him to repeat himself because she didn’t understand what he said to her. At that time she noticed that the suspect was pointing a handgun at her, and before she could react, the suspect struck her in the face with his hand that was holding the gun. The woman fell to the floor from the force of the blow, where he struck her head again.
“[The victim] was transported to Verdugo Hills Hospital,” said Det. Brian Tibbet of the CV Sheriff’s Station. “She did have swelling and suffered bruising on her face and forehead.”
The two clerks were shaken up by the robbery, but were unharmed.
The suspect was last seen exiting the front door of the store in an unknown direction, and no vehicle was seen. The suspect is described as being a black male, approximately 28 to 32 years old, 6’ to 6’02” tall, and weighing 180 to 210 pounds. He was wearing a long black jacket, a black shirt, baggy blue jeans, a black baseball cap with a white logo and black gloves. The suspect covered the lower part of his face with either a black scarf or the collar of a turtleneck shirt.
Anyone who may have information about this robbery is asked to contact the Crescenta Valley Station Detective Bureau at (818) 248-3464, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.