Authorities searching for 3 suspects after string of overnight robberies

Authorities are investigating a string of store robberies that happened overnight into early Tuesday morning.

The first of the robberies took place around 10:50 p.m. Monday. Officers responded to Cupps Liquor located in the 7800 block of Commonwealth Avenue after receiving a call about a robbery in progress. Investigators say that a male suspect armed with a handgun entered the store wearing a mask, hoodie and gloves. According to police, the suspect ordered a customer to the ground before forcing an employee to open the cash register. The suspect took the cash and left before two additional suspects wearing masks came in and stole an unknown amount of liquor. In addition to the liquor, police say that the suspects stole approximately $100 along with a laptop.

Police say that the witness who was forced to the ground snuck out of the store while the robbery was still in progress. Police are hoping that witness will return so they can ID him and receive a statement. Any witnesses are asked to call Buena Park Police at 714-562-3500.

Approximately 22 minutes later, Monroe Liquor, located at 8800 Knott Avenue, was robbed, authorities said. According to Buena Park Police, three male suspects, possibly Hispanic, chased the store clerk into the back room where they pepper-sprayed him before forcing him to open the cash register. In addition to the unknown amount of cash, the suspects also stole liquor and cigarettes, authorities said.

The third robbery occurred around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at the 7-Eleven located at 12361 Imperial Highway in Norwalk, under 10 miles away from the first two robberies. Authorities say that three male suspects, possibly Hispanic, came into the store and stole money and unidentified items. The store clerk was pepper sprayed during the robbery, Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies said. The suspects ran out of the store and left in an unknown direction.

At this time, authorities have not stated whether the robberies are related but are looking into the possibility.