7-Eleven Inc. is offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in a string of Southern California robberies that left two people dead and three injured in shootings this week.
The reward comes after six 7-Eleven locations in Brea, La Habra, Santa Ana, Riverside, Ontario and Upland were robbed within five hours early Monday.
7-Eleven Inc. encouraged stores to close Monday and Tuesday evenings out of precaution.
“Our hearts remain with the victims and their loved ones, and our focus continues to be on Franchisee, associate and customer safety,” the company wrote in a statement.
The robberies in Brea, La Habra, Santa Ana and Riverside — which all involved shootings — appeared to be connected, authorities said.
Police are also investigating four armed robberies that occurred in the San Fernando Valley early Saturday, which authorities said could be connected to the string of 7-Eleven robbery shootings two days later.
The suspect in those robberies hit two doughnut shops and two convenience stores in North Hills within two hours, brandishing a semiautomatic handgun and demanding cash from the store clerk at each location, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. No injuries were reported.
Detectives are investigating whether the robberies are connected to the Monday incidents at 7-Eleven stores, but they have not yet confirmed any link, LAPD Officer Annie Hernandez said.
The suspect in Saturday’s robberies was described as a Black man 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 160 to 180 pounds, and wearing a black sweatshirt, black mask and dark jeans — similar to the description of the suspect in Monday’s 7-Eleven robberies.
The first of those robberies occurred in Ontario just after 12 a.m., followed by a robbery at another 7-Eleven store in Upland about 40 minutes later. Neither resulted in injuries.
At 1:50 a.m., a 7-Eleven location in the 5100 block of La Sierra Avenue was robbed. During the robbery, the suspect produced a handgun and shot a customer, who is in grave condition, according to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback.
Jason Harrel, a 46-year-old father of three, was identified as the victim by his daughter Kaya Harrel and is fighting for his life after being shot in the head, KNBC-TV Channel 4 reported.
Less than two hours after the Riverside robbery, police responded to a shooting at another 7-Eleven location in Santa Ana in the 300 block of East 17th Street.
Matthew Rule, 24, was robbed and fatally shot outside the 7-Eleven store, police said, adding that it did not appear the suspect entered the store.
At 4:17 a.m., police responded to a robbery at a 7-Eleven location in Brea. Store clerk Matthew Hirsch, 40, was fatally shot.
Finally, La Habra police responded to a robbery at a 7-Eleven on East Whittier Boulevard at 4:55 a.m. Two victims, who are believed to have been the clerk and a customer, were shot. Both are expected to survive.
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