LANCASTER – The man who held up a check cashing store in the Quartz Hill Town Centre in broad daylight 10 days ago is in jail, along with his get-away driver, thanks to new facial recognition software, according to a Sheriff’s press report.
A clear image of the suspect’s face was captured on a surveillance camera on Jan. 17 during the robbery of Advance America Cash Advance on 40th Street West and Avenue L. Sheriff’s investigators entered the photo into the department’s new Facial Recognition Software, a program that uses advanced technology to match clear photos with mugshots. Within minutes, the program provided a possible match to the robbery suspect, a 31-year old man possibly living in South Los Angeles.
Investigators believe the man robbed two more local businesses at gunpoint since the Quartz Hill robbery.
The man and the woman were arrested Thursday and booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station. Their names were not released due to the pending investigation.
The following is the press report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department:
Three armed robberies in eight days in the City of Lancaster were under investigation by the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station’s Robbery Suppression Team and resulted in the arrest of two suspects Thursday.
Sheriff’s investigators had initially learned that the robberies were committed by an adult male Black suspect and a female accomplice who was believed to be the get-away driver.
The male suspect would wait for the other patrons to leave the targeted businesses before approaching the cashiers. He would then cover his face with sunglasses and a hoody, brandish a firearm and have the clerks open the cash registers. The total amount of cash stolen in the three robberies is still under investigation, but it is believed to total thousands of dollars.
The first major lead came when a clear image of the suspect’s face was captured on a surveillance camera during the robbery of a check cashing business on West Avenue L in west Lancaster on Jan. 17.
In an effort to identify the suspect, investigators entered the photo into a new law enforcement computerized Facial Recognition Software Program. Within minutes, the program provided a possible match to the robbery suspect, who was a 31-year old man possibly living in South Los Angeles. The Facial Recognition Program used by the Sheriff’s Department is available only to law enforcement and is based upon booking photos of suspects. It is a relatively new program that uses advanced technology to compare clear facial photos to booking photos already in the database.
While sheriff’s investigators were looking for the suspect from the first robbery, a second (similar) robbery took place the next day in Lancaster on January 18th at a small fast food restaurant.
On Jan. 25, a third robbery at a postal supply and private mailbox business on East Avenue J resulted in deputies identifying the vehicle used in the robbery. This led to locating the male suspect and identifying his accomplice, a 19-year old female who has been identified as the person driving the get-away car.
The male suspect who was arrested for the robberies is the same suspect the Facial Recognition Program indicated as a possible match.
The handgun used in the crimes was later found in the Lancaster apartment of the female. The gun had been previously reported stolen in the South Los Angeles area of the City of Los Angeles.
Both suspects were booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Due to the pending investigation, the names of the suspects are not being released at this time.