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Beer-bottle bandits busted

Underage drinkers used taxi cab as getaway car

Posted: May 19, 2009 4:37 p.m.
Updated: May 20, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested two men early Tuesday whom they say arrived at a Newhall gas station in a taxi cab, robbed its convenience store with a shoplifted beer bottle and then departed in the taxi.

Jimardo Villareal, 18, and Francisco Flores, 20, both of Newhall, were arrested about 2:15 a.m. after deputies pulled them out of the taxi cab. One of the two suspects had a .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol that wasn’t used in the robbery, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Mark Hershey.

About 1:30 a.m., they walked into Alliance Gas on Newhall Avenue and 2nd Street and grabbed a couple of six-packs of beer from the shelves, Hershey said. When they tried to walk out without paying, the owner tried to stop them, Hershey said.

“When the owner confronted them, they got one of the bottles and threatened to hit him with it,” Hershey said.

They got into the taxi cab, beer in hand, and were whisked away before sheriff’s deputies could arrive.

Investigators quickly tracked down the taxi company and learned the two men had been dropped off. Less than a half-hour later, they called for another ride.

After the cabbie picked them up, deputies pulled over the taxi and arrested Villareal and Flores, ending their early morning taxi-cab adventures.

“Nothing good happens after midnight,” Hershey said. “At least, not if you’re out in the wild.”



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