2 San Diego businesses robbed within hours of each other on Saturday

AT&T store, Mercury Books Inc. robbed

SAN DIEGO - San Diego police are on the lookout for four armed robbers after two local businesses were robbed within hours of each other on Saturday.

The first robbery occurred at about 6:30 p.m. at the AT&T store in the Bernardo Town Center mall on Bernardo Plaza Drive. Police say two men wearing masks burst into the store. One of the men was armed with a handgun, according to police.

The store's employees were forced into the back room, according to San Diego police Lt. Paul Rorrison.

"They were actually tied up while the property was taken from the store," he said.

Rorrison said after robbing the store, the two walked out and disappeared around a corner but not before walking in front of a woman sitting in her truck, who saw them dragging a bag of loot. 

She did not want to be identified by name.

"I just looked up and saw these two guys walking by with big black jackets on with the hoods up and I thought that's really weird because it's not that cold outside… why are they so bundled up?" she said. "And then I looked down and they were dragging a big bag."

Several businesses in the Bernardo Town Center were still open at the time, including the Starbucks next door, which was filled with people. 

"It was kind of scary," said Escondido resident Lori Ferdman. "I want to know what happened and I was sitting there the whole time, but I didn't see anything."

Ferdman may not have seen anything, but police said several witnesses saw the pair walking away, heading north.

Both suspects were described as black men in their mid-20s. One suspect was described as being 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 190 pounds. He has chubby cheeks and is heavyset, according to police. The second suspect was described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build and weighing 150 to 160 pounds. Both were wearing dark clothing.

About an hour and a half after the robbery, one of the AT&T store employees was reportedly experiencing shortness of breath. Paramedics were called, but the employee ended up going home with a friend.

Shortly after 9 p.m., police were called out to Mercury Books Inc. in the 7400 block of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in Kearny Mesa. 

Police said two black men entered the store. One man displayed a handgun and demanded cash from an employee, police said. The men then walked out of the store with the cash. They were both described as being thin, bald and wearing hoodies, according to police.

At first, police thought the two robberies might be connected, but after further investigation, police said it appears they are not. No one was hurt in either robbery.

As of 12 p.m. Sunday, no arrests have been made in either case.

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