Suspected serial robbers arrested in Santa Ana after shooting

- A 48-year-old man wanted in connection with a series of eight robberies was wounded today in an officer-involved shooting in Santa Ana, where his twin brother was also arrested.
  
No officers were injured in the shooting, which was reported about 5:30p.m. outside a Chevron station in the area of Grand and Fairhaven avenues, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
  
The suspect, who was struck in the lower body, was hospitalized in stable condition, Bertagna said.
  
His twin brother was taken into custody at the scene.
  
Bertagna identified them as Timothy and Thomas Espinosa, but he didn't know which was wounded.
  
A woman was also arrested after police served a search warrant at a nearby hotel where the brothers were staying, Bertagna said.

Earlier:

Santa Ana police on Wednesday released surveillance video of three more armed heists committed by a suspected serial bandit linked to at least seven commercial robberies since April.

Detectives hope someone will see the videos, recognize the suspect and call police, who earlier this month released surveillance video of the suspect pistol-whipping a victim in a store in the 1200 block of South Main Street on Aug. 31.

The just-released surveillance footage offers a clearer view of the suspect, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

In one of the robberies, a woman walks into a store during a holdup and doesn't appear to recognize what's happening, he said. "She stands next to him with a bandana on his face and then he grabs her in a headlock and robs her, as well,'' Bertagna said.

He's believed responsible for robberies at:

  • a Metro PCS store at 1453 S. Main St. on April 19;
  • a Metro PCS store at 1620 E. 1st St. on July 17 and Aug. 10;
  • a Metro PCS store at 1453 S. Main St. on Aug. 22;
  • Pan Dulce Bakery, 227 E. 17th St., on Aug. 27;
  • Tri-Income Tax, 1026 S. Main St., on Aug. 31; and
  • Gaby's Fashion, 1704 S. Main St., on Sept. 1.

The suspect is described as a Latino man in his 30s, with a medium build and a shaved head or buzz cut. He is about 5-foot-9 and weighs 170 to 190 pounds, Bertagna said.

Anyone with information about his identity or whereabouts was asked to call detectives at (714) 245-8362 or email: dgreaver@santa-Ana.org.

Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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