Three teenagers were arrested July 27 on suspicion of armed robbery after returning to the scene of the crime, wearing the same hats and riding the same bicycles.
The suspects are all 17 and will be charged as adults, police said. They were arrested in nearby El Salvador Park two days after a robbery on campus.
Three Middle College High School students were by the bookstore when they were approached by the suspects on BMX-style bicycles. The suspects ﬂashed what appeared to be a handgun, but later turned out to be a realistic-looking BB gun.
The robbers made off with an iPod and a wallet containing $3. The suspects then ﬂed the area and campus security notified Santa Ana police.
The incident took place directly in front of campus security cameras, which provided an accurate description of the suspects. “We had some inconsistent information…luckily the cameras showed us the right things,” District Safety and Security Supervisor Lt. James Wooley said.
When the suspects were identified after returning two days later, campus security chased them off campus and then turned the case over to the Santa Ana Police. The three were arrested later that day in El Salvador Park. All three admitted to a string of thefts over the past few months.
This was not the first robbery at Santa Ana College this past summer. A college student was robbed at knifepoint on June 6 in parking lot six behind Dunlap Hall, Lt. Wooley said.
Wooley urged students and faculty to stay vigilant, and to be aware of their surroundings. “Overall,” Wooley said, “our campus is safe, but let’s keep it that way. We need eyes and ears.” If you find yourself in a robbery situation, he said, “give up your property. It’s better t be a good witness than a dead victim.”