Liquor store employees catch robbery suspect

March 7, 2000

Monday, March 6, 2000

"Liquor Store Robbery Suspect, Caught in the Act"

Pacoima – On Sunday, March 5, 2000 at 9:05 p.m., Foothill patrol officers responded to a "Robbery In Progress with shots fired," at 10971 Glenoaks Boulevard, Leon’s Liquor Store.

Upon arriving to the location, officers observed the suspect, later identified as 23 year-old, Arturo Vela of Sylmar lying on the ground. The suspect was being detained at gunpoint by employees of the liquor store: Ho Kim, Charles Lee and Steve Song. The suspect was taken into police custody without incident.

The suspect had entered the liquor store minutes before his arrest and demanded money from the employees, while simulating a handgun. The employees, fearing for their lives, armed themselves and ordered the suspect to lie down on the floor. The suspect complied, but then he got up and fled location on foot. The employees pursued the suspect and a warning shot was fired into the air, in an attempt to stop the suspect and detain him until police arrived. The suspect complied with the employees once again and lied down on the ground and remained there until police arrived. There were no injuries to the suspect or employees.

Officer investigation revealed that the suspect was involved in three other robberies during the day at the same liquor store. The suspect was identified in all four robberies and booked for 211 PC (robbery) at Foothill jail. Bail has been set at $140,000.

Arrest and Investigation is being handled by Foothill Detectives, Donald Razzano and Detective Rudy Quintanilla, at 818-834-3115.

For Release 11:00 am PST
March 7, 2000