The latest in a string of armed robberies occured at a Murrieta Juice It Up! on Sunday, police said.
The robbery occured at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Juice It Up! at 27890 Clinton Keith Road, in The Orchard shopping center, when an employee was approached in a back room by a man wearing a bandanna and brandishing a gun, police said. It was the second time since December the business has been robbed.
In Sunday's robbery, the suspect demanded the employee give him money from the front cash register, then forced the employee to the safe area and obtained the key, said Murrieta Police Sgt. Ron Driscoll.
The total amount taken was $288, Driscoll said.
Brandishing a black semi-automatic handgun, the suspect then ordered the employee to sit on the ground between a large refrigerator and ice machine, telling the female employee to wait 10-15 minutes to move or he would “shoot her through the glass windows” of the business, Driscoll said.
The female employee was visibly shaken from the event, but was unharmed.
The employee described the suspect as a Hispanic male adult, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 220 pounds, wearing a black hoodie, black gloves, black pants and white tennis shoes. The suspect’s face was covered with a dark-colored bandana; however, the victim could tell the suspect had green eyes. He also had a distinct Spanish accent, according to the description.
Officers responded to the location after being dispatched because of a silent hold-up alarm. Further information revealed the business had just been robbed, Driscoll said.
Based on the preliminary investigation, Driscoll said it appears the robbery may be related to a series of robberies that have occurred in the western Riverside County area.
Murrieta police also confirmed Monday that the same Juice It Up! location was robbed at 6:22 p.m. Dec. 20. During that incident, $462 was taken, said Sgt. James Gruwell. He said the suspect was described with the same type of handgun, and was again an Hispanic male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 210 pounds. He was wearing a black ski mask, and similar dark clothing with jeans. Again, it was a lone female employee who was working and was the victim of the crime.
"So the description is the same," Gruwell said.
Those with any information regarding the robbery can call the Murrieta Police Department's on-duty Watch Commander at 951-696-3615. Or they can provide information anonymously through “We Tip” at 1-800-78-CRIME.