Pair of thieves wanted in string of armed robberies

SAN DIEGO -- Authorities asked the public Friday for help in identifying two thieves responsible for at least three violent armed robberies at San Diego-area markets in the past several weeks.

A single man carried out the first two holdups, repeatedly pistol-whipping clerks and firing shots from a black-and-silver handgun into a wall or ceiling when he became impatient with the pace of the victims' compliance with his demands, according to police.

The volatile gun-toting bandit had an accomplice during the third heist, but the pair fled empty-handed after one employee fled in fear for his life and a second worker refused to cooperate, officials said.

The crimes occurred in the 10200 block of Scripps Trail in Scripps Ranch on the evening of April 6; in the 9300 block of Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley early Wednesday morning; and in the 2300 block of Reo Drive in Paradise Hills on Thursday night.

Though two of the victims were struck in the face with a pistol, no serious injuries were reported.

Investigators have been unable to generate detailed descriptions of the robbers, who wore hooded sweatshirts during the crimes, at times with the cowls drawn tight around their faces.

Police are looking into other recent local armed robberies in an attempt to determine if the same two men might also be responsible for those heists.

Anyone with information about the stick-ups was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.