Posted on: October 22, 2022, 02:50h.
Last updated on: October 22, 2022, 06:29h.
Los Angeles County Sheriffs and the FBI are investigating whether two men arrested Friday on suspicion of robbing an armed truck and shooting a security guard are the same pair that hit the Hustler Casino in August.
Gregory James, 47, of San Pedro, and Lamond Akins, 30, of Compton, were charged on Friday morning with Hobbs Act robbery and discharging a firearm during a crime, the Los Angeles Times reports. The former is a federal charge related to robberies that affect interstate commerce. It carries up to 20 years imprisonment.
The suspects are accused of ambushing a Loomis guard who was delivering money to an ATM at a Bank of America branch in S. Vermont Ave., West Carson.
Hallmarks of Prior Crimes
The robbers were carrying semiautomatic handguns. They shot the guard several times in the right leg before escaping in a black Chevrolet Malibu, according to court filings.
Police discovered that Akins was the registered owner of the car. Cellphone records showed that James was in the area of the robbery, according to prosecutors. The Chevrolet was caught on surveillance video pulling into the parking lot of an apartment complex ten minutes after the robbery.
The two men are seen entering the building’s elevator together shortly afterwards, according to the arrest affidavit.
The robbers’ MO bears striking similarities to the Hustler raid, as well as another robbery, an ambush on two Loomis guards loading cash into an ATM at a 7Eleven in Carson on September 27. One of the guards was shot twice in the buttocks in this incident.
On August 4, two men exiting their armored truck outside The Hustler were met with a volley of gunfire from up to three men, according to witnesses. One guard was injured in the attack and was later transported to hospital. He was in critical condition but was expected to survive, according to news reports at the time.
The guards returned gunfire and witnesses reported one of the robbers may have been injured in the exchange. After grabbing an unknown amount of cash, the men fled in a white Honda Accord before switching to a black Chevrolet Malibu, according to court records.
There were no shots fired inside the casino. But patrons and workers were evacuated as police and firefighters established a perimeter around the Hustler Casino crime scene.
Cell phone records show that James’ mobile device was in the area when both of the crimes were committed, prosecutors said.
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