Group threatens victims with hammers in string of local robberies

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SAN DIEGO — Police say robbers threatened victims with hammers in a trio of thefts around San Diego County Tuesday evening, and investigators are trying to determine if the same group of people pulled off each crime.

The first robbery happened around 9:40 p.m. at a Circle K store on Tierrasanta Boulevard, across the street from the Tierrasanta Library in the city of San Diego. Investigators say a group of four people walked in to the store and one of them threatened the clerk with a hammer while the other three swiped cash from the register and nicotine products from behind the counter. The clerk was unharmed and the group took off.

The second robbery happened about 11:20 p.m., seven miles north in the Mira Mesa area, where a man was sitting in his Ford Mustang outside a convenience store on Carroll Centre Road near Black Mountain Road. Again, a group of four people approached the victim, and two were wielding hammers. They told the man to get out of the car and appeared to be trying to steal the Mustang, but ended up simply running off with his wallet after the driver ran into the store to call 911.

Finally, a third robbery took place shortly after midnight in Santee, which is about a 20 minute drive from the site of the second robbery. In that case, four men entered a 7-Eleven on Cuyamaca Street near Mast Boulevard, and one of them again threatened the employee with a hammer. After taking some undisclosed merchandise, the group took off.

While police couldn’t say for certain that the same group was responsible for all three crimes, they acknowledged that the trio of incidents are similar, and they say they’re looking for a group of suspects with matching descriptions.

The only further details released were a cashier’s description of the man wielding a hammer in the first robbery, at the Tierrasanta Circle K store. He was described as Hispanic, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall with a heavy build, and wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans, gray hat and black bandana covering his face.

Anyone with information about the heists was asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-580-8477 or submit a tip online by clicking here.

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