Los Angeles County trio indicted for armed robberies at 10 pharmacies in Pasadena and elsewhere – Pasadena Now

Two South Bay men and a Harbor-area woman are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday after being charged with allegedly committing 10 armed robberies of drugstore chains in Pasadena and elsewhere in the county over a six-week period, sometimes assaulting and injuring their victims.

The defendants face federal charges including Hobbs Act theft – theft affecting interstate commerce – and using and carrying a firearm in connection with a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The trio — Makai Yusef Sanders, 22, of Hawthorne; Kenyatta Kamar Jones, 22, of Hawthorne; and Diavion Deshawna Mouton, 22, of Carson — are expected to plead not guilty before a magistrate judge in federal court in Los Angeles.

According to court documents, the defendants committed 10 armed robberies from Aug. 9 to Sept. 19 at Rite Aid and Walgreens stores in Pasadena, Long Beach, Bellflower, South Los Angeles, Whittier, Lakewood, Monterey Park, Burbank and Glendale.

Mouton allegedly served as a driver while Sanders and Jones robbed the stores, usually an hour before closing time, used handguns, stole the victims’ cell phones, then went to the stores’ staff offices and took money from their safes.

In one of the robberies, a defendant allegedly robbed a female store employee, pointing a handgun at her back, ordering her to take him to the store’s safe and using the barrel of the gun to push her to make her move faster. Fearing for her life, the employee began walking toward the back of the store where the safe was located. Once in the back of the store, the employee noticed the robber was distracted and talking to the other robber. The employee then locked herself in the store’s personnel office and called 911, according to federal prosecutors.

In total, the thieves stole approximately $776 from Walgreens cash registers, as well as four iPhones belonging to the victims. The suspects then left the store and drove away in a white Honda Civic, which law enforcement later discovered had been booked through a peer-to-peer ride-sharing company and was believed to be driven by Mouton.

Using phone records and GPS data, law enforcement located the defendants and arrested them on September 26. At the time of their arrest, Jones and Sanders were allegedly in possession of handguns consistent with the firearms used in the Walgreens robbery. Law enforcement also found clothing, including a black mask with a red logo, consistent with clothing worn by one of the suspects during the robbery.

If convicted as charged, each defendant faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the Hobbs Act robbery charge and up to life in prison for the firearm charge, prosecutors said.

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