3 gang members arrested in robbery that targeted $500K wristwatch at Beverly Hills restaurant: DOJ

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Three men described as gang members have been arrested in connection with a brazen armed robbery and shooting at a Beverly Hills restaurant that left a woman injured, federal officials announced Wednesday.

The men, all South Los Angeles residents and documented members of the Rollin’ 30s Crips, have been charged with one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

They were identified as Malik Lamont Powell, 20; Khai McGhee aka Cameron Smith, 18; and Marquise Anthony Gardon, 30.

The robbery occurred on March 3 at Il Pastaio restaurant in Beverly Hills.

During the robbery, a patron was held at gunpoint and was robbed by three men of his Richard Mille wristwatch, which is worth about $500,000. During a struggle, two gunshots were fired, striking another patron once in the leg, officials said.

Beverly Hills police said the man was targeted after one of the suspects had spotted him wearing the high-end watch.

The gun was dropped during the struggle and the robbers ran from the scene with the man’s watch.

The watch remains missing and a Beverly Hills jeweler has offered a $50,000 reward for its return.

“This robbery was a brazen attack during mid-day in the heart of Beverly Hills and endangered the lives of everyone in the area. In excess of 40 people witnessed this crime,” Beverly Hills police said in a news release.

After reviewing surveillance video of the chaotic scene and getting witness statements, officials said five individuals are believed to be involved in the crew that committed the robbery. The other two people involved in the incident remain outstanding, police said.

Investigators believe Powell and McGhee were two of the three robbers, while Gardon was identified as a driver of the robbery crew’s getaway car, according to the criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

Powell’s car — a black BMW — was allegedly used to take the crew to and from the robbery, and his cellphone traced him to being near Il Pastaio at the time of the robbery. Additionally, Powell’s social media accounts allegedly showed images of various guns and high-value wristwatches, officials said.

McGhee’s DNA was found on the robbery victim’s clothing from the struggle for the gun, according to prosecutors.

Surveillance video allegedly shows Gardon getting out of the rear passenger seat and into the driver’s seat of the getaway car just before the robbery, and his cellphone was also present near the restaurant at the time of the robbery, officials said.

Surveillance video also apparently shows the robbers scouting the area before robbery.

The three suspects were taken into custody at locations across Southern California on Tuesday, Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti said during a news conference Wednesday.

Officials released booking photos of the suspects following the news conference. Police made no mention of the other two people believed to be involved in the robbery.

The three men face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if convicted as charged.

The case was investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department and the FBI, with help from the Santa Monica Police Department.

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