Police are asking the public for help in identifying four men suspected of participating in an attempted armed robbery at a mall in Irvine over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.
At around 4 p.m. on Sunday, police responded to an attempted robbery on Harvard Avenue and Main Street, where the Harvard Place shopping center is located, the Irvine Police Department said in a press release.
An investigation and video from a bystander revealed that a white Mercedes sedan drove past a victim who came out of Rubios Coastal Grill and was walking across the parking lot. The Mercedes then stopped in the middle of the parking lot and two men got out.
Meanwhile, a gray Nissan Sentra pulled up nearby and two other men got out, one holding a pistol in his right hand, as he ran towards the victim, police said.
When the victim saw the man with a gun, he ran to a nearby restaurant while the suspect was chasing him. The victim reached the restaurant and closed the door.
The gunman did not enter the restaurant, but instead joined the other three men who were gathering next to a parked white Range Rover.
The Range Rover “appeared to be related to the victim,” said Sgt. Karie Davies of the department.
While the victim was hiding in the restaurant, the suspects approached the passenger side of the Range Rover and appeared to be talking to someone inside, police said. The gunman knocked on the window several times with the barrel of the pistol, then all four suspects ran to the Mercedes and drove out of the parking lot.
The Nissan Sentra also left the Coronado parking lot.
“It is believed that this was an isolated incident and that there is no known threat to the community,” the department said.
Investigators don’t yet know why the victim was targeted, but it appears that the four men may have followed him to Irvine from the Los Angeles area, according to Irvine police.
“It’s pretty bold for something like this to happen in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon in Irvine,” said Davies. “We are the safest city for violent crime and have been for some time – now 15 or 16 years. This doesn’t happen very often in our city, which is why we are so eager to find these people and hold them accountable. “
The victim is not a resident of Irvine and was passing through on her way to another town.
All four are black and have been described by the police as follows:
- The first man wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants and black athletic shoes.
- The second man wore a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans, and black and white athletic shoes.
- The third man wore a black hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants with a red stripe on the side, and white high-top athletic shoes.
- The fourth man wore a red / white / blue hooded sweatshirt, blue shorts, white socks and black athletic shoes. According to the police, he was armed with a pistol.
The vehicles involved were described as follows:
- A white Mercedes A220 four-door sedan with tinted windows and a sunroof. The first man got out on the passenger side, while the third got out on the left rear passenger side.
- A gray Nissan Sentra with tinted windows, a black rear bumper with damage to the left rear side panel. The second and fourth men left this vehicle as the driver rolled forward out of the parking space.
The drivers of both vehicles were not seen during the incident.
The investigation continues.
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspects is asked to contact Detective Haldor Larum at 949-724-7194 or email [email protected]
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