Police are hunting for a serial robber they've dubbed the "Silver Revolver Bandit," who they say shot and wounded a Riverside convenience store clerk during his fifth heist in the area on Wednesday night.
The violent robbery unfolded about 11:35 p.m. at Circle K, 5720 Sycamore Canyon Road, Riverside Police Department Sgt. Trinidad Lomeli said.
The bandit entered the store, brandished his trademark silver revolver and demanded money from the employee, the sergeant said.
But when the employee was unable to open the register, the robber became enraged and attacked, police said.
The gunman punched the victim, causing a facial fracture, then opened fire as he fled the store, Lomeli said. The clerk, described as a man in his 40s, was shot in the arm.
Paramedics took the wounded worker to a hospital with an injury not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
Police used a bloodhound to help search the area for the robber, but he was not found, officials added.
He was described as a white or Latino man between 20 and 30 years old., about 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 160 to 180 pounds, Lomeli said. He had brown hair and brown eyes. No getaway car has been seen during any of the five robberies.
In addition to Wednesday's crime, the serial robber has been linked to a Sept. 9 robbery at a Wienerschnitzel along Van Buren Boulevard in Riverside; an Oct. 24 at the same Sycamore Canyon Road Circle K that was robbed in Wednesday, an Oct. 27 robbery at a Circle K along Pigeon Pass Road in Moreno Valley; and a Nov. 18 robbery at the same Moreno Valley store, Lomeli said.
He carried a silver revolver in all the crimes, he said.
The robber generally steals some small item, in addition to the cash from the register, according to Lomeli. In one case, he stole cigarettes. In Wednesday's robbery, he grabbed a three-pack of Corona beer.
Wednesday's heist was the first time someone was hurt, Lomeli said. "It's kind of escalated."
Police asked anyone with information to contact Riverside police Detective Karla Corbett at 951-353-7134, or Riverside Sheriff's Department Deputy Brian Sinclair at 951-486-6818. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.