A $100,000 reward is being offered by 7-Eleven after six California stores were robbed within hours — leaving two people dead and three others wounded, police said.
The convenience store chain announced the reward Wednesday in the wake of six heists in five hours early Monday near Los Angeles, including locations in Brea, La Habra, Santa Ana, Ontario, Upland and Riverside, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Our hearts remain with the victims and their loved ones, and our focus continues to be on the franchisee, associate and customer safety,” 7-Eleven reps said in a statement.
Authorities said the six heists on the company’s anniversary appear to be connected. Investigators are also looking into whether the heists are tied to four armed robberies in San Fernando Valley on Saturday, where two donut shops and convenience stores were robbed. No one was hurt in those incidents, police said.
“LAPD is aware of the series of murder/robberies in Ontario, Upland, Riverside, Santa Ana, Brea and La Habra and are working with investigators to see if there is any connection,” LAPD said in a statement Tuesday.
The suspect in Saturday’s robberies is a man between the ages of 25 and 30, about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing between 160 and 180 pounds. In all four of the earlier robberies, the suspect produced a semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash from employees.
Police said no one was hurt during the first 7-Eleven robberies in Ontario and Upland early Monday, but a customer was shot during a heist at a Riverside store and remains in grave condition, police told the Los Angeles Times.
Jason Harrel, a 46-year-old father of three, was shot in the head, his daughter told NBC Los Angeles.
“My dad is a fighter so if anyone is going to make it through, I have full faith that it would be my dad,” Kaya Harrel told the station.
Less than two hours later, Matthew Rule, 24, was robbed and fatally shot outside a 7-Eleven in Santa Ana, where the suspect did not appear to enter the store, the Times reported.
Cops then responded to a robbery at a 7-Eleven in Brea, where clerk Matthew Hirsch, 40, of La Habra, was gunned down by a suspect, police said.
“We extend our deepest condolences to Matthew’s friends and family,” Brea police said. “His family remembers him as caring, compassionate and a dear friend to all.”
The last 7-Eleven heist occurred at about 4:55 a.m. Monday in La Habra. Two victims, believed to be a clerk and a customer, were shot and wounded, but are expected to survive, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Anyone with information on the 7-Eleven robberies should contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIPS-OCCS.
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