A man with an ankle monitor, who was already on probation for robbery, has been arrested after allegedly carrying out an armed robbery at a cell phone store after allegedly arresting two employees at gunpoint and running away with money from the register.
The incident happened around 2:18 p.m. Sunday, when the Culver City, California Police Department received a call stating that an armed robbery was taking place at a Boost Mobile store at 4114 Centinela Ave. About three miles northeast of Los Angeles International Airport, according to the Culver City Police Department (CCPD).
When officers arrived to investigate, they spoke to the two victims, who were employees of Boost Mobile, who told them what had just happened and provided authorities with CCTV footage of the robbery.
“Officials learned that the suspect, who was described as male, black and wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, blue sweatpants, a white mask and blue surgical gloves, entered the store and pointed a black semi-automatic pistol at both victims.” , the Culver City Police Department said in a statement posted to social media. “The suspect then jumped over the counter and forced both employees to lie face down while he got money from the register. The suspect took approximately $500 in US currency and fled the store on foot.”
However, after officers reviewed the surveillance camera footage, they found that the suspect had lost a set of car keys during the theft of the store, prompting them to conduct an area search.
It didn’t take long for authorities to locate a possible suspect vehicle parked a block from the scene, and when responding officers looked inside the car, “they observed the clothing the suspect was wearing at the scene in the back seat,” they said the Culver City Police Department.
Authorities continued to search the area and shortly thereafter observed a man who matched the description given to them by Boost Mobile staff and surveillance video captured of the armed robbery. The Culver City Police Department then approached the suspect, 37-year-old Lawrence Bell of Torrance, California, and he was arrested without incident.
“A search of the vehicle revealed a driver’s license in the name of the arrested person (Lawrence Bell), a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol and the aforementioned clothing worn by the suspect during the robbery,” the CCPD said. “In addition, the currency stolen in the robbery and other evidentiary items from inside the vehicle were recovered.”
After Bell’s arrest, authorities found he was already on parole for robbery and, according to the CCPD, “was wearing an ankle monitor as a condition of his parole at the time of the robbery.”
It’s unclear if Bell has legal counsel, but the case will be brought before the Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office at a date to be determined.