Two men are in custody after back-to-back robberies Monday afternoon at the Fresno Super Mall at Olive Avenue and Golden State Boulevard, police said.
The first robbery took place shortly before 1 p.m. when two men snatched jewelry from the store and ran to a Jeep in the parking lot, Lt. Joe Gomez said. With a store security guard in hot pursuit, they opted to jump from the Jeep and run east across Golden State, where they clambered over a six-foot fence separating the road from Union Pacific Railroad tracks.
One of the men, identified by police as 19-year-old Xavier Allen, had sustained a gunshot wound over the weekend in an unrelated event. Allen was captured but the other man escaped and is at large with the jewelry.
Gomez said that as that robbery was taking place, a man grabbed a woman’s purse inside the store and fled west on Olive Avenue, also with security in pursuit. The man managed to break a security guard’s stun gun during a fight but was held down with the help of at least one citizen and was briefly taken into custody. Witnesses said the suspect then got into the citizen’s pickup in the mistaken belief that the citizen would help him escape. But when he saw that instead he was being brought back to the scene of the crime, he jumped out of the truck. He was was subdued again, this time with the help of about a half-dozen California Highway Patrol officers from their nearby headquarters.
The man, who was not identified by police, was taken to the hospital for evaluation of injuries sustained in the fracas.
Officers weren’t able to locate the likely victim of the purse snatch.