Gardena man facing federal charges for alleged armed robbery spree of donut shops, other businesses

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A Gardena man has been indicted on federal criminal charges alleging that he carried out a five-day armed robbery spree of nearly a dozen businesses, including several donut shops.

Justin Washington, 32, was named in a 14-count federal grand jury indictment returned Tuesday, charging him with 11 counts of Hobbs Act robbery and three counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4, Washington allegedly robbed and attempted to rob 10 business in the South Bay and in South Los Angeles, according to the indictment obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The alleged robbery spree began at a Gardena grocery, which he robbed on both Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, the indictment states. Then, Washington allegedly robbed a 7-Eleven store and a donut shop, and attempted to rob a veterinarian’s office, all in Gardena.

Next, he is accused of robbing a donut shop in Torrance, and then he moved to South L.A. to hit a wireless phone store, a dry cleaner business, two additional donut shops and a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store.

During the robberies, Washington allegedly held the stores’ employees against their will, including some at gunpoint, for which he faces three charges.

The total loss alleged in the indictment is approximately $5,679, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The matter was investigated by the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Torrance, Gardena and Los Angeles police departments; and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

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