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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Contact: Los Angeles Field Division

Robbery Crew Hitting Walmart Stores & Banks Arrested in Fullerton

Crew Suspected in 16 Robberies in Four-month Crime Spree in SoCal

SANTA ANA, California – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) worked together with local law enforcement from several counties to arrest two individuals yesterday in Fullerton, California, suspected of conducting more than a dozen robberies. One suspect, would pass a note to the clerks claiming to be armed, and the other would standby as the getaway driver. Both were apprehended yesterday shortly after robbing the Walmart in Anaheim, California. The two individuals are suspected of working together to rob two banks and 14 Walmart stores in SoCal starting in July and ending yesterday.

The suspected driver, Nicolas Marino, 27, of Upland, California, and the suspect who entered the establishments, Jeffrey Alexander Lecates, 30, of Huntington Beach were arrested without incident. The pair will appear in court today and are expected to be charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), 2(a) interference with commerce by robbery, and aiding and abetting in interference with commerce by robbery.

Marino and Lecates are suspects in the following robberies:

  1. Bank of America, 18691 Main St., in Huntington Beach, California, on July 6, 2018, at approximately 5:52 p.m.;
  2. UNIFY Bank, 4637 Candlewood St., in Lakewood, California, on July 21, 2018, at approximately 2:15 p.m.
  3. Walmart, 13331 Beach Blvd., Westminster, California, on July 23, 2018, at approximately 6:20 p.m.;
  4. Walmart, 7250 Carson Blvd., Long Beach, California, on July 29, 2018, at approximately 6:07 p.m.;
  5. Walmart, 4651 Firestone Blvd., in South Gate, California, on Aug. 4, 2018, at approximately 6:36 p.m.;
  6. Walmart,  8500 Washington Blvd.,  in Pico Rivera, California, on Aug. 5, 2018, at approximately 4:50 p.m.;
  7. Walmart, 8230 Talbert Ave., in Huntington Beach, California, on Aug. 9, 2018, at approximately 5:18 p.m.;
  8. Walmart, 2595 E Imperial Highway, Brea, California, on Aug. 21, 2018, at approximately 4:19 p.m.;
  9. Walmart, 80 Rio Rancho Road, Pomona, California, on Aug. 28, 2018, at approximately 4:04 p.m.;
  10. Walmart, 27470 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Niguel, California, on Sept.14, 2018, at approximately 7:33 p.m.;
  11. Walmart, 479 N McKinley St., Corona, California, on Sept.19, 2018, at approximately 4:24 p.m.;
  12. Walmart, 1827 Walnut Grove Ave., Rosemead, California, on Sept. 23, 2018, at approximately 6:46 p.m.;
  13. Walmart, 2770 Carson St., Lakewood, California, on September 29, 2018, at approximately 4:44 p.m.;
  14. Walmart, 32225 Temecula Parkway, Temecula, California, on Oct. 1, 2018, at approximately 6:36 p.m.;
  15. Walmart, 12701 Towne Center Drive Cerritos, California, on Oct. 16, 2018, at approximately 3:30 p.m.
  16. Walmart, 88 E Orangethorpe Ave., Anaheim, yesterday, at approximately 5:30 p.m.

“These crews who terrorize the public by going into our community stores demanding money and threatening harm are being targeted by ATF,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of Los Angeles Field Division Bill McMullan. “ATF works to reduce violent crime by targeting and dismantling these type of criminal groups and gangs who pose the greatest threat to public safety. Through collaboration with our local law enforcement agencies, ATF will identify and remove these violent criminals from our communities.”

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Los Angeles Field Division