OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Police are looking for an armed robber who got away with at least 15 cell phones and cash after robbing a Verizon Wireless store on College Boulevard in Oceanside.
Officers say the robber entered the Verizon store just before 8 p.m. Tuesday. He wore a hoodie and a bandana to disguise his identity. Officers and police dogs searched from the ground and air units were called in immediately to locate the robber.
Local cab driver Jason Hunter witnessed the thief enter and leave the store. He called 911 immediately.
"Well, it looked like he had a gun and he was running so fast … I said, 'This isn't good, this is a robbery,'" said Hunter.
10News spoke exclusively with the store clerk.
"He ran in with the gun saying, 'Give me the money and the phones,'" said the clerk.
He said the robber demanded cash and phones and then struck him several times using the handle of his gun.
"That's when he said, 'I'll give you 10 seconds, or I'll shoot you', then pointed the gun at my body and my head. He started counting down … he was like, 'Ten, nine, eight' and that's when he hit me in the same spot like two or three times," said the clerk.
Five days ago, a similar armed robbery took place at a Sprint store in Poway. The San Diego County Sheriff's department released surveillance video of the crime. 10News showed it to the Verizon clerk, who says he believes the robber in the video is the same man who robbed him.
"Yeah, he was wearing the exact same thing," the clerk said.
Images from the surveillance camera depict a black man, who is about 35 to 40 years old, 6 feet tall and weighing 160 to 180 pounds. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt with a red trim, a black mask, black pants, black shoes and one black glove on his right hand.
Investigators are looking into the possible connection between the two robberies.
Anyone with information about the man's identity was asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. Anonymous tips can be sent via email or text message to sdcrimestoppers.com.