Over the last two months, the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas have experienced a series of connected robberies in various retail stores. One such typical robbery looks like this: several adult males enter a store and load up shopping carts with products such as electronics, clothing, and food. They then make their way to the back of the store and exit through a fire exit. A car and getaway driver are waiting at the rear of the store, so that the thieves may quickly leave the scene of the crime.
The Suspects Also Threatened Store Employees
In a handful of these robberies, employees have attempted to stop the suspects, but the suspects have threatened the employees when confronted.
The suspects have been described by witnesses and employees as “large, Hispanic males.” The first suspect identified is 26-year-old Raul Cruz. In addition to the robberies, Cruz has threatened employees with an electronic control device and a baton. The story of Cruz’s arrest follows.
Las Vegas Police Help Stop Robbery
On December 2, around 8 p.m., LVMPD officers arrived at a retail store on West Charleston after being called to investigate a robbery. They arrived in time to find Raul Cruz and another thief, 30-year-old Kenneth Payne, at the back of the store with stolen merchandise. When Cruz saw Metro show up, he abandoned the stolen goods and fled on foot, but Metro captured and arrested him.
The Suspects Now Face Several Charges
Payne, who was manning the getaway vehicle, did not flee and was also taken into custody at the Clark County Detention Center where both men now face multiple counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, felony theft, and conspiracy to commit felony theft. These charges are in conjunction with eight different events. Even with the help of a qualified Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, the suspects will likely see some hefty penalties.
The investigation into this theft ring remains ongoing, as four suspects remain unidentified. Photos were released by various news sources in hopes of help identifying the criminals.