Santa Barbara- S County

Armed Liquor Store Robberies Believed to be Connected

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria Police believe the same suspect is responsible for a string of armed robberies at local liquor stores.

"He told me I want to kill you," explains Elias Alhabib, cashier at Battle's Mini Mart.

Elias Alhabib remembers the terrifying night when a man, ran into the store, pointed a gun at him then demanded cash.

"You have to give me all the money and I want to kill you if you do anything wrong," he says.

The same scenario happened down the street on West Main at at El Ranchero Liquor twice this month.

"Those are three robberies we believe may be connected," says Sergeant Chris Nartartez, Santa Maria Police Department.

The first happened January 5, then again around 9:30 p.m on Monday.

Police believe the suspect is a white male, but do not have a good description of him because each time his face is covered with a mask.

"He has a handgun and he confronts the clerk. It happens very quickly," Nartartez said.

Each time, the suspect runs off on foot.

"I remember everything. I can't sleep," explains Alhabib.

As for Elias, he says he's keeping an extra eye out.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Santa Maria Police Department.

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