Man Arrested on Suspicion of Robbery

A 19-year-old man was taken into custody this week after he allegedly grabbed a 17-year-old boy’s shirt and threatened physical violence over a pair of car keys.
The Tujunga resident was arrested on suspicion of robbery, said Sgt. Alan Chu, a detective at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
The incident was reported at 7:39 p.m. Tuesday in the 1900 block of Verdugo Blvd., where the United Artists Movie Theatre and several restaurants are located. The suspect later was found sitting on La Crescenta Avenue near the 210 Freeway after he ran from the alleged victim and threw the keys in the bushes, Chu said.
The suspect’s mother had been driving him to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital to get help for him when he exited the car and ran into the parking lot, Chu said.
“It sounds like to me he wanted to harm himself,” Chu said. “I don’t see an intent here to take the [alleged victim’s] car, especially when he ditched the keys.”
The mother of the alleged victim posted to a closed Facebook parent group about the incident. She said her son had parked the car in the lot to meet the family for dinner, when a man grabbed his shirt and demanded his keys, threatening to “deck” the 17-year-old, the woman said, adding that her son handed over the keys and the suspect ran. The alleged victim called 911 and went into the restaurant to tell the family. It was not initially clear if the alleged robber had entered the car, stolen the registration information or would try to access their house, she said.
Later, a UA Movie Theatre employee reported a “strange guy” entered the establishment 30 minutes earlier, used the restroom and ran out. The employee’s information helped deputies find surveillance footage used to identify the man, who fit the description of someone reported missing, the mother said.
Chu said the suspect was located after a motorist almost struck him as the 19-year-old sat near a 210 Freeway exit.
“The person stopped and called us,” Chu said. “He didn’t want him to get hit.
“This isn’t your standard bad guy,” Chu said of the suspect.
He noted that the area where the crime happened is not known for robberies.
“We occasionally have a burglary there,” Chu said. “We get one every once in a while. Thousands of people go there every day. It’s a very, very busy, popular area with the theater and the Starbucks.”

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