Check-cashing businesses in Orange County, Calif., have been plagued by a series of robberies involving a crew of black criminals who bust in through the roof at night, then rob the establishments when the first employees arrive in th morning.
A crew of brazen crooks has been knocking over check cashing businesses across Southern California by smashing holes in their ceilings and dropping in while dressed as a construction crew.
Santa Ana authorities said the crafty crooks have robbed at least seven businesses in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Orange, Tustin, Long Beach and Rialto since last July, The Orange County Register reported.
Investigator said the crew has a distinct M.O.
They break in through the ceiling sometime before the business opens and, as soon as the first employees arrive, they drop down and order the workers to empty the registers at gunpoint.
The thieves, described as men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, wear yellow safety vests during the capers, according to surveillance footage.
"We believe it's the same crew targeting check-cashing places," Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told The Orange County Register.
The gang's most recent heist was Sunday in Santa Ana.
Authorities released security footage from that robbery and have asked with anyone who recognizes the men to call Santa Ana Det. Dan Aguilar at 714-45-8443 or OC Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.
A $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to their capture.