A man allegedly responsible for at least six recent armed robberies targeting small businesses in the North County was arrested Tuesday in an undercover sting, police said.
The Escondido Police Department (EPD) said San Marcos resident Alonzo Mora, 37, was arrested in the 1500 block of East Valley Parkway while plain-clothes officers conducted surveillance on his vehicle.
According to investigators, Mora was involved in multiple armed robberies at smaller retail establishments since late August – five in Escondido and one in San Marcos. He may have also been involved in a seventh robbery in Vista Tuesday, police said, but that incident is still under investigation.
The EPD said all robberies occurred during daytime hours under similar circumstances. The suspect entered the business and displayed a handgun while demanding money from employees. He then fled in a vehicle described by witnesses as a conversion van with several unique features.
Over the past few weeks, detectives compiled information from witnesses and surveillance footage from the robberies, which led officials to Mora and his vehicle.
During Mora’s arrest, police also took a companion into custody, 31-year-old San Marcos resident Kenosha Knott, who was in the car with him.
Investigators determined Knott had no knowledge or involvement in the robberies. She was still arrested, however, for possession of heroin, cited by the EPD and released, officials said.
Mora was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on six counts of armed robbery and one charge of possessing heroin. He’s scheduled to appear in court Friday.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the robbery series should call EPD Det. Greg Gay at (760) 839-4404 or the EPD’s anonymous tip line at (760) 743-8477.