PALMDALE – Two men and a woman were arrested this week in connection with a string of armed robberies that started in December 2011 at a Palmdale business and then continued throughout Palmdale and Lancaster until August 2012, authorities said.
Mahealani Leialoha Austin, 25, Marcus Travis Robinson, 24, and Brooke Hollins, 22, were arrested Wednesday after a surveillance and search warrant operation. The three Palmdale residents are each facing 72 criminal counts, including armed robbery, kidnap for robbery and assault with a firearm, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. Read it below:
The Lancaster Station’s Detective Bureau – Robbery Suppression Team are asking for the public’s help in obtaining information regarding a string of robberies that started in 2011 in the two cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.
The Lancaster Station’s Robbery Suppression Team began investigating multiple armed robberies which occurred throughout the Antelope Valley between 2011 and 2012. The armed, masked suspects entered the businesses and obtained money, sometimes forcing the employees into back rooms of the businesses forcing them to open the safes.
On Wednesday, Feb. 5th 2014, after a surveillance and search warrant operation, three suspects, Marcus Robinson, Mahealani Austin and Brooke Hollins, all of Palmdale, were arrested. They were taken into custody at two separate locations, where a firearm and other evidence related to the crimes were found.
Over the past two years the Robbery Suppression Team has continually followed up on these cases conducting countless interviews, serving multiple search warrants, conducting several surveillance operations and countless other investigative means.
This case was presented to the District Attorney’s Office on Feb. 7th 2014, and 72 counts were filed against the suspects, which included armed robbery, kidnap for robbery and assault with a firearm.
Anyone with information about these robberies is encouraged to notify the Lancaster Station Detective Bureau- Robbery Suppression Team at 661-948-8466.
UPDATED 2/10/14: Austin, Robinson, and Hollins were arraigned in an Antelope Valley courtroom on Friday, Feb. 7, according to court records. Each pleaded not guilty to all 72 criminal counts and denied all special allegations, and bail for each defendant was raised from one million to $11 million, according to court records. Austin, Robinson, and Hollins are due back in court on Friday, Feb. 21 for a preliminary hearing. At the conclusion of that hearing, a judge will decided whether there is enough evidence against the trio for the case to go to trial.
UPDATED 2/21/14: All three defendants appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom Friday, Feb. 21 for a scheduled preliminary hearing. However, the hearing was postponed until Friday, March 7 to allow defense attorneys more time to receive discovery information. We will continue to follow this story.