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FPUD robbery thought to be fourth in series

The business office of Fallbrook Public Utility District (FPUD), located in the 900 block of East Mission Road, was robbed by an armed man on Monday, Feb. 8 at approximately 11:45 a.m. Based on witness interviews, the suspect appears to match the description of the perpetrator of three other recent local robberies.

“It’s looking like it’s the same guy,” said Detective Dan Laibach, Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation. “He walked in to the FPUD office, up to the front counter and told a lady in Spanish ‘It’s a robbery; I have a gun; it’s not a joke; please don’t make me use it.’” Laibach said at that point the suspect lifted his shirt, revealing the butt of a handgun tucked into the waistband of his trousers.

After taking cash from the desk clerk, the suspect fled the building on foot and proceeded to travel down a dirt path that runs next to the administration building.

“One of our canines tracked his scent to a parking lot where he must have had a getaway car,” explained Laibach. “We also had the ASTREA helicopter up in the air for about 20 minutes searching for him.”

Despite earlier unconfirmed reports, the suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s, approximately 5’7” tall, and weighing around 170 lbs, the man is thought to be the one that robbed Wells Fargo Bank on January 25, Payless Shoe Source on Jan. 17, and Dollar Tree on Dec. 28.

Laibach said the man’s facial features have been described the same in the three other robberies. In the FPUD incident, the suspect was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with a black design on the front and had a thin mustache.

Laibach said more evidence was collected at the FPUD scene and has been sent out for DNA testing. No one has been injured in any of the four robberies.

Anyone with information pertaining to these crimes can call Laibach at (760) 451-3110.

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