Man arrested in armed robberies of more than 40 cellphone stores across Southern California, police say

By in Press Enterprise on February 15, 2018

By Brian Day

Police have arrested a prolific serial robber linked to well over three-dozen cellphone store hold-ups in recent months spanning Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, authorities said Wednesday.

Investigators arrested Michael Anthony Tapia, 51, of Pico Rivera about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday at a home in the 9600 block of Nan Street, according to West Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.

Evidence was also seized during a search warrant at a second home in the 2800 block of Via San Delarro Street in Montebello.

“Through the investigation, West Covina detectives were able to identify the suspect and a search warrant was obtained,” police said in a written statement. “Together with Investigators from the Pasadena Police Department, the warrant was served just after 8:00 AM at two locations.”

Tapia is suspected in armed robberies targeting more than 40 cell phone stores through Southern California in recent months, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said.

Three of the robberies took place in West Covina, Lopez said. Most recently, he’s suspected of robbing a MetroPCS store on the afternoon of Jan. 5. He’s also linked to a Christmas Day robbery at a cellphone store robbery, as well as another similar West Covina crime on Sept. 15.

His crimes are believed to include two cellphone store robberies in Fontana on Jan. 27 and Jan. 15, as well as in Montclair on Jan. 10, authorities said.

At least one of the additional crimes linked to the bandit — a Dec. 21 Telecom/MetroPCS store in the 1200 block of West Whittier Boulevard in La Habra — was captured on surveillance video, police said.

The robber seems to favor MetroPCS stores, though other businesses have also been victimized during the extensive crime spree, officials said.

The suspect targeted cash […]    

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