Man arrested for armed robberies in Fullerton and Irvine


An Irvine man has been arrested in connection with a series of armed robberies in Fullerton and Irvine.

A joint investigation conducted by the Fullerton, Irvine and UC Irvine police departments has led to the arrest of Joshua Benbrook, 25.

Benbrook was arrested outside his house by the Irvine PD at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, on suspicion of committing two robberies Monday evening and a March 6 armed robbery of a convenience store in the 277 block of West Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton.

At 6:20 p.m. Monday, May 23, a UCI student was walking on campus when approached by the suspect, who indicated he was armed with a gun, police said.

Benbrook is accused of ordering the student to walk to an ATM and withdraw cash. He then stole the money and fled the scene on foot.

About 15 minutes later, a motorist whose vehicle broke down was waiting for a tow truck near Culver Drive and University Drive.

Police say Benbrook pulled up behind the disabled vehicle, walked up to the victim and started talking with him.

The suspect then lured the victim back to his vehicle, where he brandished a gun from the glove box and stole the victim’s wallet and cell phone before fleeing in a red sedan.

Benbrook also fled the scene of the Fullerton robbery in a red sedan, police said.

After the Irvine robberies it was determined the Fullerton PD was investigating a similar robbery and the agencies began a collaborative investigation.

The investigation is ongoing to determine whether Benbrook has been involved in any additional incidents. No booking photo is available.

Anyone who may have been a victim or has information is encouraged to call FPD Det. Veronica Gardea at 714-738-6728, IPD Det. Victoria Hurtado at 949-724-7194 or UCIPD Det. Sgt. Charles Chon at 949-824-5223.