Police are seeking the public’s help to identify four men suspected of being involved in an attempted armed robbery at an Irvine shopping center over the weekend, officials announced Tuesday.
Around 4 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a plaza on Harvard Avenue and Main Street, where the Harvard Place Shopping Center is located, regarding an attempted robbery, the Irvine Police Department said in a news release.
An investigation and video from a bystander revealed that a white Mercedes sedan drove past a victim coming out of Rubio’s Coastal Grill and walking through the parking lot. The Mercedes then stopped in the middle of the lot and two men got out.
Meanwhile, a gray Nissan Sentra stopped nearby and two additional men got out of that vehicle, one holding a handgun in his right hand as he ran toward the victim, police said.
When the victim saw the man holding a gun, he ran toward a nearby restaurant as the suspect chased him. The victim reached the restaurant and closed the door.
The armed man did not enter the restaurant, and rather joined the other three men as they gathered near a parked white Range Rover.
The Range Rover “appeared to be associated with the victim,” Sgt. Karie Davies of the department said.
While the victim sheltered himself inside the restaurant, the suspects approached the passenger side of the Range Rover and appeared to be talking to someone inside, police said. The armed man tapped on the window with the barrel of the handgun several times, and then all four suspects ran to the Mercedes and drove out of the parking lot.
The Nissan Sentra also left the parking lot onto Coronado.
“It is believed this was an isolated incident and there is no known danger to the community,” the department said.
Investigators do not yet know why the victim was targeted but it appears the four men may have followed him into Irvine from the Los Angeles area, according to Irvine police.
“For something like this to happen in Irvine on a Sunday afternoon, in broad daylight, is pretty bold,” Davies said. “We are the safest city for violent crime and have been for sometime — 15 or 16 years now. Things like this do not happen often in our city which is why we are so eager to find these people and hold them accountable.”
The victim is not an Irvine resident and was passing through on his way to another city.
All four are Black and were further described by police as the following:
- The first man was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants and black athletic shoes.
- The second man was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans and black/white athletic shoes.
- The third man was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants with a red stripe down the side, and white high top athletic shoes.
- The fourth man was wearing a red/white/blue hooded sweatshirt, blue shorts, white crew socks and black athletic shoes. He was armed with a handgun, according to police.
The vehicles involved were described as:
- A white Mercedes A220 four-door sedan with tinted windows and a sunroof. The first man exited the front passenger side, while the third exited the left rear passenger side.
- A gray Nissan Sentra with tinted windows, a black rear bumper with damage to the left rear quarter panel. The second and fourth man exited this vehicle as the driver rolled forward from the parking space.
The drivers of either vehicles were not seen during the incident.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspects is asked to contact Detective Haldor Larum at 949-724-7194 or email email@example.com.