Three suspects were arrested in El Cajon early Tuesday morning in connection with at least two robberies, one of which involved a victim robbed of her cell phone at a mall.
According to Lt. Rob Ransweiler of the El Cajon Police Department, the first robbery happened around 9:45 p.m. Monday at Parkway Plaza mall on Fletcher Parkway.
A woman was using her cell phone at the mall when three suspects approached her. One of the suspects snatched the phone from her hands and all three immediately fled the scene on foot. The woman was not harmed.
The second robbery occurred just a few hours later – at around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday – at the intersection of Main and Johnson streets. Police said two male victims were walking along the street when three suspects approached them.
One suspect, armed with a handgun, pointed the weapon at the victims and demanded their wallets. After getting what they wanted, the suspects fled on foot. The victims were not injured.
Police said the victims followed the suspects for a short distance and called 911. Officials from several agencies responded to the area began searching for the suspects.
A short time later, two of the suspects were located in the 300-block of Richfield Avenue. Officers also spotted a car speeding nearby in the 200- block of Richardson Avenue. When officers stopped the vehicle, they found evidence inside the car linking the vehicle and driver to the two other suspects and the robberies.
The three suspects – Antwonne Hartfield, 23; Jayvon Bailey, 19; and an unidentified juvenile – were all taken into custody. Investigators believe the trio may also be connected to additional robberies that happened in San Diego overnight.
The suspects are facing three felony counts of robbery, plus charges for conspiracy to commit a crime.
The robbery series remains under investigation. Hartfield and Bailey are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
Anyone with information on these robberies should contact the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3311 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.