Two men and a woman are in custody and another man is sought in connection with 14 recent robberies that mainly targeted Asian-American store owners in the Fresno and Clovis area, police chiefs from the two cities announced at a news conference Tuesday morning.
The bandits stalked store owners – many with jewelry stores, most on Kings Canyon Road between Chestnut and Clovis avenues. Their victims often were followed home, where they were robbed or kidnapped of cash, computers and other high-value items. In three cases, victims were handcuffed by bandits.
The series of robberies began in June, police said.
In custody are Kevin Robinson and Joshua Daniels, both 23, and Jasmine Adams, 23. Still sought is Christopher Daniels, 25.
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Dyer said the three men face lengthy prison sentences and possible life terms on robbery and kidnapping charges and a hot-prowl burglary with a total of 21 victims. Adams is expected to be charged with possessing stolen property, Dyer said.
“These cases generated an incredible amount of fear within the business community,” especially among Asian-American business owners, Dyer said.
Fresno police became aware of the series of crimes on Oct. 14, when a handcuffed man and a woman were found by Fresno County sheriff’s deputies southeast of the city. They told officers that they were abducted from a home in northeast Fresno and taken to a business that they owned in central Fresno, where the bandits demanded they open the store and surrender money and merchandise. The man did not have keys, so the robbers took both to the location where they were found by deputies.
Clovis police reported a similar robbery on Nov. 2, and the two departments began working together.
On Dec. 2, SWAT teams from Fresno and Clovis police, along with sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshals, served seven warrants, arresting suspects and recovering evidence. At one home, authorities recovered seven laptops, five cellphones and a trove of evidence, Dyer said.
He also had a warning for business owners and other potential victims of such crimes: Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for anyone following you home.
Police want help finding Christopher Daniels. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Danny Laband at 559-621-2448 or Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP.