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News Release

Thursday, May 24, 2001

Media Relations

Fast Food Bandits Apprehended


Los Angeles - Since March 3, 2001, two Male Hispanic suspects have committed a series of robberies in the Los Angeles County area. Thirty fast food restaurant robberies have been committed in the city of Los Angeles and approximately twenty other robberies, in surrounding cities, are believed to have been committed by these two suspects.

Other cities affected by the bandits are Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Burbank, Monrovia, West Hollywood and Glendale.

On May 15, 2001, Robbery-Homicide Detectives held a press conference to release surveillance photos and request assistance from the public in identifying the suspects. As a result of local media coverage, information was received from the public identifying a possible suspect.

Detectives identified Anthony Jose Almendarez Jr., Male Hispanic, 32 years of age, an ex-con with an extensive record, which includes robbery, attempt murder and narcotic arrests. The identification of Almendarez subsequently led detectives to identify his associate and accomplice, William Tanelian, Male Armenian, 34 years of age, also an ex-con with an extensive arrest record and two outstanding felony warrants.

On May 23, 2001 at 11:00 am, detectives were conducting a follow-up investigation in the 6500 block of San Fernando Road in Glendale and observed suspect Tanelian in a 1998 green Ford Taurus. Detectives requested the assistance of the Glendale Police Department in arresting Tanelian for Robbery.

Glendale Police Officers and an air unit attempted to stop him. He refused, and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit terminated at Figueroa Street and Laloma where Tanelian collided with another vehicle. The vehicle was occupied by a male driver and a female passenger. The driver, identified as Milo Flores, 34 years of age and a resident of Alhambra, sustained fatal injuries. The female passenger, his wife, sustained injuries also, but they were not life threatening.

The suspect, Tanelian, ran from his vehicle and was captured and arrested by Glendale Police officers. Tanelian also sustained injuries and was booked at USC Medical Center for murder and robbery.

On May 23, 2001, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Detectives conducted a follow-up investigation in the 7000 block of Shirley Street in West Valley Division in an attempt to locate Tanelian's accomplice, Anthony Almendarez. This resulted in a vehicle pursuit that terminated at Roscoe Boulevard and Home Depot Way. Suspect Almendarez exited his vehicle and engaged officers in a gun battle. Almendarez sustained fatal gunshot wounds and expired at the scene.

The investigation is being conducted by Robbery-Homicide Division.

This press release was prepared by Officer Don Cox, Media Relations,