Two women sought in armed robbery of 99 cents store

Irene Lee (L) and Ariel Burrus (R)

SAN DIEGO — Investigators are asking for the public’s help in locating two women suspected in an armed robbery of a store in the Mid-City area of San Diego.

Shortly after 1 p.m. on December 13, Irene Lee and Ariel Burrus walked into the Savers 99 Cents Store at 4129 University Avenue, according to San Diego police. Police said Lee shoplifted several items while Burrus acted as a lookout. Both women went to the checkout counter, where Lee pretended she was going to pay for just one item, according to police.

When an employee blocked the exit and demanded Lee show him what she had taken, neither woman complied, police said. Burrus tried shoving her way past the employee, pulled out a small caliber revolver from her waistband and pointed it at the employee’s head, according to police.

Police said Burrus cocked back the hammer of the gun and told the employee to let them ago. The employee tackled Burrus to the ground and took the gun from her, police said. Burrus demanded the gun back and threatened to kill the employee, who held onto the gun.

Both women left the store before police officers arrived, police said.

Investigators identified both women using evidence found at the scene.

The first suspect, Ariel Burrus, is described as a black woman, 5-feet-4 and weighing 140 pounds. The second, Irene Lee, 22, described as a black woman, 5-feet-8 and weighing 130 pounds.

Anyone with information on the location of the suspects is asked to call SDPD’s Robbery Unit at 619-531-2299 or Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.