The Garden Grove PD has arrested a Fountain Valley man on suspicion of committing armed robberies at 7-11s and other convenience stores in several Orange County cities, including three heists in Garden Grove.
Jose Angel Gutierrez, 42, was arrested Tuesday, March 29 and booked at Orange County Jail on suspicion of armed robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of narcotics.
In addition to Garden Grove, police believe Gutierrez might be linked to armed burglaries in Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Westminster and possibly Tustin and Orange.
The latest heist, which occurred on March 29 at 4:04 a.m. at a 7-11 at 11011 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, led to Gutierrez’s arrest.
The store was robbed at gunpoint with cash and cartons of cigarettes taken. The GGPD said the suspect matched the description of a suspect in a series of robberies and the same getaway vehicle: a white, 2012 Chevrolet Malibu four-door.
The GGPD said it believes the series of armed robberies may have started in Santa Ana in November 2015. Since then, Santa Ana has had at least seven gas stations hit by an armed robber.
A few hours after Tuesday’s heist, Santa Ana and Garden Grove Police investigators served a search warrant at Gutierrez’s home in Fountain Valley where they found a sawed-off shotgun, two handguns and illegal narcotics.
Police located Gutierrez a few hours later in the vehicle used in robberies at a café in the area of Western Avenue and Cerritos Avenue in Stanton.
Gutierrez was taken into custody without incident and was armed with the loaded handgun police believe was used in the robberies.
Some of the cartons of cigarettes recovered were linked to the latest robbery.
The two other Garden Grove robberies occurred Feb. 13, 2016. At 5:05 a.m. that day, cash and lottery tickets were taken at a 7-11 at 12971 Nelson St. Just six minutes later, cash and lottery tickets were stolen from a 7-11 at 8982 Chapman Ave.
The suspect vehicle was the same in all three Garden Grove robberies, police said.
Gutierrez likely will be arrested on suspicion of additional crimes after the other cities complete their investigations, the GGPD said in a news release.