Eight Months Later, Santa Clarita Deputies Nab Armed Robber
Eight months after an armed robbery, Santa Clarita Sheriff's deputies got a big break.
The original incident happened Thursday January 29, 2009, when a man entered a local liquor store, pulled a long rifle from inside the leg area of his pants, and proceeded to rob the female clerk at gunpoint. At the time, the man was heavily disguised and didn't realize that a second employee was in the store and had become aware of the robbery-in-progress.
With little regard for his own safety, and against the advice of Sheriff's officials, the second store employee ran out from the back of the store and struck the armed robber in the head area with a bottle. Unfortunately, the impact had little effect on the armed man, who now turned his gun towards the second clerk. The robber had trouble manipulating the gun as the clerk scrambled for his life. See the surveillance video of this incident by clicking here.
The robber fled the store with an undisclosed amount of United States Currency and fortunately none of the store employees were hurt.
Last Monday, the investigation benefited from a chance event. While driving down Sierra Highway, the male store clerk from that January night saw a man at a bus stop near Sierra Highway and Canyon Park. He took a good look at the man as he passed him and reported right away to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station he had seen the man who allegedly robbed him in January. Deputies responded to the area and the suspect was taken into custody without incident. The female store clerk later identified the suspect as well. They each reported they had recognized the suspect as a regular customer who used to frequently shop at their store before the robbery.
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Robbery and Assault team already had the gun they believe was used in crime. The .22 caliber rifle with a cut down stock was recovered, fully loaded, just days after the January robbery during the service of a high-risk search warrant involving Santa Clarita Detectives and members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's elite Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) in the 23700 block of Valle del Oro.
Santa Clarita Detectives had pieced together information about the gun and several other robberies and guns which led up to the warrant service on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009. The suspect's identity, however, was still a mystery and he remained outstanding until September 14th. During the search warrant service three other guns were recovered, along with money.
The suspect, twenty-four year-old Oscar Omar Labra of Newhall, was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. He is now being held at a maximum security Los Angeles County Sheriff's jail facility in lieu of $310,000 bail. He faces two felony counts of Armed Robbery with gun enhancements and two felony counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon. He is due in Santa Clarita Superior Court on October 5, 2009.