2 men arrested for attempted robbery at gas station

SAN DIEGO - Two men were arrested Tuesday after returning to the scene of a failed robbery attempt at a gas station in the El Cerrito area, one day after the same gas station was robbed by a lone gunman, police said.

Tuesday's events began shortly before 2 a.m. at the Arco gas station at the intersection of 54th Street and University Avenue, according to San Diego police.

The two men were in the store earlier and purchased beer from the clerk, Officer John Buttle said. The men returned to the store shortly before 2 a.m., but found that the clerk had locked the doors and was only taking transactions through the security window, Buttle said.

One of the men walked up to the window while the other man hid against a wall, Buttle said. The man at the window asked for a bag of chips and the clerk retrieved it and brought it back to the window.

The man then demanded cash, but the clerk thought the man said he didn't have cash, Buttle said.

"The clerk then heard what he thought was the slide of a handgun being racked, dove to the floor and locked himself in the office," Buttle said.

The two men then fled southbound on 54th Street without taking anything, Buttle said.

Shortly before 3:15 a.m., two men matching the suspect descriptions provided by the clerk returned to the gas station and were taken into custody, Buttle said.

A lone gunman robbed the same Arco gas station around 12:50 a.m. Monday. During the robbery, the thief walked into the gas station, pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money from the register before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash and several lottery tickets.

Police did not say if the incidents may be related.

The suspect from Monday's robbery was described as a man in his 30s, 5 feet 8, with a thin build.

The suspects from Tuesday's robbery were described as two men in their 20s, between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches, with thin builds.