Irvine Police Department Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PRESS RELEASE #05-24-2016
Contact : Farrah Emami, Public Information Officer, Irvine Police Department 949-724-7112
Irvine, CA – A joint law enforcement investigation has resulted in the arrest of a man for a series of armed robberies in Irvine and Fullerton. The suspect is identified as Joshua Benbrook, 25, of Irvine.
This case is being investigated by the Fullerton Police Department (FPD), Irvine Police Department (IPD) and University of California, Irvine Police Department (UCIPD).
Last night, May 23, 2016, at approximately 6:20 p.m., a UCI student was walking across the Watson Bridge on campus and was contacted by the suspect, who implied he was armed with a firearm. The suspect did not show the weapon. Benbrook instructed the student to walk to a nearby ATM to withdraw cash. The suspect then stole the money, released the victim and fled the scene on foot.
Approximately 15 minutes later, at 6:35 p.m., a motorist was waiting for a tow truck in the area of Culver Drive and University Drive after his vehicle broke down. The suspect pulled up behind the disabled vehicle, walked up to the victim and engaged him in conversation. Benbrook lured the victim back to the suspect’s vehicle and then brandished a firearm from the glove box. Benbrook stole the victim’s wallet and cell phone and fled the scene in a red sedan.
UCI issued a campus alert and IPD and UCIPD began investigating these incidents. It was determined that FPD was investigating a similar robbery in Fullerton.
On March 6, 2016, at approximately 2:50 a.m., the suspect entered a convenience store in the 2700 block of West Orangethorpe Avenue. He brandished a firearm and robbed the teller of food items and money. Benbrook fled the scene in a red sedan.
FPD provided information from their investigation to IPD and the agencies began a collaborative investigation.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. today, May 24, 2016, Benbrook was arrested by IPD leaving his home in Irvine. He has been linked to all three crimes, and the investigation is ongoing to determine if the suspect has been involved in any additional incidents.
No booking photo is being released at this time pending the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with additional information or who may have been a victim is encouraged to call FPD Detective Veronica Gardea at 714-738-6728, IPD Detective Victoria Hurtado at 949-724-7194 or UCIPD Detective Sergeant Charles Chon at 949-824-5223.
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Irvine Police Department
1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92606