(Oct. 3, 2004) -- An especially terrifying armed robbery took place in NLB on Saturday Oct. 2 when two suspects crashed a truck into the front window of a business on busy Atlantic Ave., allegedly robbed it at gunpoint...only to be spotted fleeing by an alert LBPD officer and captured by responding cops with a bizarre ending: one suspect was dead when officers found him.
LBReport.com posted news of the robbery as an advisory on our front page while officers were still on scene shortly after 10:00 p.m...and use of the truck as an entry weapon made the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. L.A. TV newscasts on Fox11, CBS2, NBC4 and ABC7 (and perhaps others)...but the story's bizarre conclusion wasn't confirmed until after midnight.
LBPD says in a written release that two suspects drove an allegedly stolen pickup truck through the front glass window of a check cashing business in the 6500 block of Atlantic Ave. At least two suspects were inside the business and allegedly produced handguns, pointed their weapons at the employees and removed cash from the business.
The suspects then ran into a stolen van parked in the business' parking area and sped off...but were spotted by an alert LB cop who happened to be driving west on Artesia Blvd. and observed the van driving from the parking lot to northbound Atlantic Avenue.
The observant officer noticed the van was driving erratically and its sliding side door open...and followed the van and tried to conduct a traffic stop unaware that it contained armed felony suspects.
The van stopped on Atlantic just north of Artesia, the suspects fled on foot...and the officer gave chase. A perimeter was established...and LBPD's SWAT Team responded and arrested a male adult suspect found hiding in a plant nursery in the 6800 block of Myrtle Ave.
Residents in the 6800 block of Lime Ave. contacted officers after they heard noises in their side yard...and officers found a second suspect, matching the description of one of the robbery suspects, lying on the ground between a cinder block wall and a home.
"He was unresponsive and would not comply with the officers’ commands. The officers deployed a less lethal taser, but he was still unresponsive. Long Beach Fire Department personnel responded and pronounced the male adult suspect dead," the LBPD release says, adding "Investigators believe the second suspect was deceased before officers found him."
The decedent's identity and cause of his death will be determined by the L.A. County Coroner’s Office. The arrested suspect's identity wasn't immediately known.
LBPD says a handgun and cash were recovered.
Anyone with information about these events is asked to call LBPD Homicide Detectives Brian McMahon or David Rios at (562) 570-7244.