SPPD asking for public’s help in identifying El Pescador robber

December 30, 2011
Santa Paula Police Department

Santa Paula Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying an armed robber who hit a local popular eatery Wednesday afternoon.

The robbery was the fourth such incident since October, but a SPPD detective said he believes a different suspect committed the latest robbery. 

According to SPPD Sgt. Cody Madison, the robbery occurred December 28 at approximately 1:39 p.m. when officers responded to El Pescador Restaurant in the 300 block of South Peck Road for the report of a robbery. 

According to Madison, “Upon arrival, the victims and witnesses stated a heavyset Hispanic male wearing a black baseball hat and black hooded sweatshirt” with a white “Raiders” football logo entered the business. The suspect produced a handgun and demanded money from the cashier, and after taking an unknown amount of cash fled on foot northbound on Peck Road, west on Telegraph Road and then northbound on Sheppard Road.

A search of the area was conducted utilizing K-9 Zak and Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies, however it met with negative results.  

SPPD Detective Sgt. Ishmael Cordero said when the suspect entered the restaurant it was through an entrance facing Peck Road: “It was well after lunch, but there were still some paying customers in there... the suspect walked up to the cashier and showed he had a gun in his waistband.... A couple of customers next to him in line became aware of what was happening... when the gun was exposed they saw it was there.”

Based on statements made by witnesses, police set up a perimeter and the suspect was tracked by a K-9 to a residence on Sheppard Road, a location Cordero said police are “familiar with... but by the time we got there the subject had fled.” The residents, he added, “denied everything - they didn’t see anybody run into the house. We don’t know if our suspect lives there or not,” but it was the location to which the K-9 led officers.

The suspect, said Cordero, is “probably in his early 20s” and was wearing sunglasses with a hooded sweatshirt pulled up over a baseball cap. His image was captured on surveillance video, and Cordero said stills would be released soon. “Somebody will recognize him.” 

Wednesday’s robbery was the fourth such incident since October, when a man with a gun robbed La Casita, located on West Main Street. In late November an armed robber fled a restaurant in the 1100 block of East Main Street without taking any money. On December 1, a plumbing store in South Alley was the scene of a robbery by a gunman.

Cordero said the description of the suspect in the previous incidents does not match the man who robbed El Pescador. “We don’t think it’s the same guy; we have two different suspects here - this one is totally new.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cordero at 525-4474 ext. 220. If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-4253-1-#.

Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org. Tipsters can be eligible to receive a $1,000 reward.

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