Two young men were arrested Thursday in connection with a series of eight armed robberies targeting pedestrians in uptown San Diego neighborhoods, investigators confirmed.
San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Capt. Mike Hastings said suspects Hamza Hagi, 22, and Feysal Salad, 21, were arrested for robbing multiple pedestrians at gunpoint in North Park, Normal Heights and University Heights.
The robberies all took place between May 9 to May 27, Hastings said.
"The suspects produced a handgun and threatened the victims as they demanded the victim’s property," he explained.
According to detectives, eight pedestrians were robbed during that time period. The violent series was top-of-mind for the police department and Hastings said a hybrid team of detectives was formed to investigate the cases in depth.
In one case, detectives were able to identify a vehicle linked to the robbery suspects. That car was spotted by SDPD officers just before 1 a.m. Thursday in the 4900 block of University Avenue.
An officer pulled the vehicle over and four men inside – including Hagi and Salad – were detained. While searching the suspects’ car, officers discovered evidence linked to the robbery series, including stolen property.
Hagi and Salad were both taken into custody and booked into San Diego Central Jail on multiple charges of armed robbery and conspiracy. The SDPD said the other two men inside the car were questioned by officers but ultimately released.
Hastings said the cases of Hagi and Salad have been turned over to the San Diego County District Attorney's office. Both suspects are scheduled to appear in court on Monday. Further details of the crimes of which they’re accused are expected to be released in court at that time.
Hastings said the ages of victims targeted in this series of armed robberies span "across the board." The suspects would usually steal purses or cell phones from their victims.
In some cases, Hastings said the suspects stole more "eccentric things," but the captain said those details would come out during court proceedings next week.
Hastings said several similar armed robbery cases are still under investigation and police are working to determine if those cases are tied into this crime series.
"We believe the community can rest asssured that the suspects are in custody at this time," added Hastings.