Three SF stores robbed at gunpoint

Police are investigating three armed robberies that took place at different stores across San Francisco on Monday evening, a police spokesman said Tuesday.

Police arrested Nathaniel Jeremiah Castro, 23, of San Francisco, in connection with an armed robbery on Ocean Avenue just west of City College of San Francisco that was reported at about 8:40 p.m. Monday, San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza said.

Based on the police investigation, two men in their 20s entered a store in the 1800 block of Ocean Avenue wearing hoodies and with their faces covered, Esparza said. One of the suspects approached the front counter while the other suspect went behind the counter and approached the store clerk with a handgun.

The suspects demanded money from the store clerk and she complied, handing over cash from the register. Both suspects fled from the store on foot following the robbery, officers said. Police arrested Castro nearby but the second suspect remains outstanding.

Esparza said the other suspect was described as a man with dark complexion between 20 and 25 years of age, standing about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds. He was wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants at the time of the robbery.

Earlier in the afternoon, police received two other reports of shops robbed at gunpoint: one in the Noe Valley neighborhood and the other in the Outer Richmond neighborhood. In the Noe Valley incident, officers received a report of a robbery at about 4:30 p.m. on Castro Street near 26th Street, police said.

According to police, an unknown male suspect walked into a liquor store. He then walked behind the cash register and put a handgun to the clerk’s back. He then ordered the victim to hand over cash and took the money out of the cash register before fleeing from the liquor store on foot in an unknown direction, police said.

The suspect in this robbery was described as a man with dark complexion between 20 and 30 years of age, standing about 5 feet 3 inches tall, wearing a gray hoodie, blue shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes, Esparza said. Less than an hour and a half later, police received a report of another armed robbery in the Outer Richmond neighborhood.

Shortly before 6 p.m., an armed robbery was reported on Balboa Street near 40th Avenue, police said. In this incident, the victim, a man in his 60s heard a gun racking and then felt a gun pushed against his back. The suspect removed cash from the register and fled from the store.

Police said the suspect was described as a man standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He had his face covered and was wearing a gray hoodie with an emblem, a blue plaid shirt, and blue jeans.

The investigation into these armed robberies remains ongoing and police are urging anyone with information to contact investigators anonymously at (415) 575-4444 or text-a-tip to TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.