San Diego

Caught on Camera: ‘The Grinch Bandit' Sought in 8 Robberies Across San Diego County

The armed duo is linked to at least eight robberies across San Diego County from October through this month

As a duo known as “The Grinch Bandits” remain on the lam with at least eight robberies under their belts, San Diego investigators released a photo Thursday of one of the suspects.

The man, wearing what appears to be a black-hooded jacket or sweatshirt, is described as being 6 feet tall, approximately 175 pounds with an athletic build. The second “Grinch” – whose photo has not yet been released – is described as being 5-foot-9, also usually wearing dark-colored clothing.

The duo is believed to be responsible for a series of robberies between October and December in San Diego, Spring Valley, El Cajon and National City.

In each case, their strategy is similar: the first suspect enters the targeted business, points a shotgun at a clerk and demands cash while the second suspect grabs the money.

Thus far, the suspects are linked to robberies at these locations, investigators confirmed:

  • Wings-N-Things on 2nd Street in El Cajon
  • Godfather’s Pizza on Sweetwater Road on Oct. 26
  • Godfather’s Pizza on Sweetwater Road (again) on Nov. 5
  • B Beauty Supply & Wig on Paradise Valley Road on Nov. 20
  • Godfather’s Pizza on Sweetwater Road (again) on Nov. 30
  • Valero Gas Station on Sandrock Road on Nov. 30
  • KT Donuts on Paradise Valley Road on Dec. 2
  • 7-Eleven on Sabre Springs Parkway on Dec. 2

The Grinch Bandits may also be responsible for two robberies at businesses in National City – one on Dec. 3 at the Oriental Café on E. 7th Street and the other this past Tuesday at CC & J Cargo on E. Plaza Boulevard. Deputies are still trying to determine if those two cases are connected to this series.


At least three law enforcement agencies are working together to find the bandits. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation since most of the cases have taken place in that agency’s jurisdiction.

No one has been hurt in any of the robberies. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on The Grinch Bandits can reach out to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or the SDSO at (858) 565-5200.

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