3 arrested following string of armed robberies across Fresno


(Left to Right) William Escalera, 19, Gabriel Portillo, 19, and Edwardo Flores, 18 (Fresno Police)

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Three men were arrested for a string of armed robberies across Fresno that took place from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day, Fresno Police said Wednesday.

The first robbery occurred Thursday at 10:10 a.m. at Englewood and Glenn avenues in central Fresno, said Sgt. Brian Valles. The suspects were in a vehicle and approached a pedestrian as he walked along the sidewalk of Glenn Avenue.

As they got out of the vehicle, one of them pulled out a handgun while demanding the victim’s property. The victim gave them his property and left the area.

The second robbery occurred the same day at 1:02 p.m. at Grant Avenue and Ninth Street in southeast Fresno, Valles said. The victim was sitting inside her vehicle when the three suspects pulled up next to her.

One suspect held a handgun and demanded the victim’s property while the two other suspects searched her vehicle. The suspect took the victim’s purse.

Police reported that the third and fourth robberies occurred on Christmas Day.

Valles said the third robbery took place at 6:43 a.m. at a gas station in the area of Gettysburg Avenue and First Street in east-central Fresno. The victim was delivering fuel and standing near his big rig when the suspects approached him.

One suspect pulled out a firearm while the other two took personal property from the victim rummaged through his big rig. The suspects fled the area.

The fourth and final robbery occurred at 10:20 a.m. in the area of 1400 N Thorne Ave. in central Fresno, Valles said. Two victims were walking their dogs when the suspects approached them.

One suspect brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s property. The victims surrendered their property and the suspects left the area.

About 20 minutes later, an officer spotted the suspect vehicle in the area of Olive and Glenn avenues. The suspects ran after the officer approached the vehicle.

The suspects were located and detained without incident after a two-hour search, Valles said. The victims in the cases did not suffer any physical harm and subsequently identified the suspects.

Police reported the suspects are identified as William Escalera, 19, Gabriel Portillo, 19, and Edwardo Flores, 18. They were all booked into the Fresno County Jail on several counts of armed robbery.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has filed cases against the suspects.

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