Armed bandit captured, arrested during gas station robbery

A man arrested at a Stanton gas station where he planned to carry out a ninth Orange County armed robbery was in federal custody Thursday, authorities said.

The man, who is in his late 40s, was arrested around 9:55 p.m. Wednesday at a Chevron station near the intersection of Katella Avenue and Beach Boulevard, Brian Ingargiola, a supervisor at the Orange County office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told CNS in a telephone interview.

The suspect, who was wanted for at least eight other armed gas station robberies in Orange County, was arrested by the Bureau after being identified as a person of interest in those robberies, which spanned the last two months, said ATF Public Information Officer Meredith Davis. The amount of money taken in those robberies was not disclosed.

"Agents did develop intelligence that led to him as a suspect and they were surveilling him,'' Davis said.

Under ATF surveillance, the suspect began ``driving around as though he was casing different stores in the area,'' Davis said. "When he did stop at that particular store (in Stanton), agents did attempt to speak to him and he
tried to flee from officers but he was taken into custody.''

No one was hurt in Wednesday's incident, Davis said.

The suspect will appear before a United States Magistrate judge at 2p.m. today in Santa Ana, Davis said, adding that he "does have a lengthy criminal history for similar offenses.''

ATF's core mission is to investigate and interrupt violent crime, particularly ones with firearms, according to Davis. ATF agents investigated the robberies because the suspect was using a handgun to take money from gas
stations, which are involved in interstate business, she said.

"We take those very seriously,'' Davis said.

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