A 33-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly robbing and kidnapping two residents at gunpoint last month in southeast Fresno.
Fresno police Sgt. Mark Hudson said Wednesday that citizen tips helped police arrest Vernon Royal Jr. for allegedly kidnapping two people outside a southeast Fresno Foods Co. store around 10 p.m. Jan. 11 and then robbing them at gunpoint.
The victims were loading groceries into their car at 4838 E. Kings Canyon Road when Royal allegedly forced them at gunpoint to drive him to several locations where he robbed them of their cellphones, money and other personal items, worth an estimated $500 combined.
After Vernon allegedly robbed them, he told them to drive him back to Foods Co. and rode away on his bicycle. Hudson said Royal — who was on felony probation — also committed two other “strong-arm” robberies.
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Detective Donnie Dinnell said Royal allegedly robbed another woman at the same Foods Co. store on Jan. 30, stealing her purse and cell phone. The next day, he allegedly tried to steal from a FoodMaxx grocery store at 5671 E. Kings Canyon Road, where he fought with security officers who tried to arrest him.
Vernon was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of four counts of robbery, two counts of kidnapping and one count of false imprisonment with violence.