REDLANDS – Police say that neither of the two suspects arrested by Riverside County sheriff’s deputies last month is suspected in a set of robberies committed in Redlands.
Amid a crime spree that may include well over 20 armed robberies, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies arrested Robert Renteria, 29, and Alfonso Hall, 22, both of Moreno Valley, after an armed robbery at a Moreno Valley hotel on March 17. Six days before, they were suspected of robbing a gas station in Redlands.
Neither Renteria nor Hall has been connected to an array of other robberies, said Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker. Redlands police say there is a different suspect being sought for a separate series of crimes. There are, Baker assured, two different sets of crime sprees taking place.
Fourteen robberies, dating back to December 2009, are being attributed to the at-large suspect.
Police are seeking a man suspected of robbing three Redlands businesses last month starting with a Dairy Queen. On a Monday morning more than a week later, March 28, he was apparently scared away by an employee when he tried to rob Radio Shack at 700 East Redlands Blvd.
The Radio Shack employee said she saw a man with a handgun entering the store at 8:30 a.m. She screamed and the man ran out before police could arrive.
“We weren’t that far away,” said Layel, “but we couldn’t get there in time.”
Layel, watch commander on March 15, said he told his day shift to “keep an eye on the banks. I have a feeling he’s going to try to rob a bank. I told them it was a feeling, but stay alert downtown.”
Police are still looking for a black man in his 30s, between 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-4, weighing 200 pounds, according to a release from Redlands police spokesman Baker. During each of the robberies, the suspect was reported to be wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt, black pants, gloves and a bandanna over his face.
Layel said the same man is believed to have robbed Stell Coffee on March 7, the Dairy Queen on March 13 and the Shear Perfection hair salon one day later. The susepct shot an employee in the leg during the Dairy Queen robbery. It was the day after that Layel had warned his officers to watch the banks.
Baker said the suspect, who uses a revolver in the course of his robberies, is also suspected of crimes dating back to December 2009, including gas stations and food stores.
The suspect has struck well beyond Redlands, according to reports, committing crimes in Ontario, Fullerton and Upland.
No vehicle has been connected to the suspect, reported Baker.
Layel corrected an earlier report that the injured Dairy Queen employee was shot accidentally. Police believe otherwise.