LCF arrest

A Lexus driven by a man who was detained by police at gunpoint Wednesday, awaits retrieval outside the Union 76 gas station on Foothill Boulevard at Angeles Crest Highway. (Photo by Sara Cardine / April 23, 2014)

Three people were detained at gunpoint by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday afternoon in La Cañada during a robbery investigation involving the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments. 

Deputies responded to the Union 76 gas station on Foothill Boulevard at Angeles Crest Highway after receiving a request for backup from the Los Angeles Police Department, according to Sgt. Darrin Walker of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“LAPD requested assistance in detaining a felony suspect. We responded to Foothill and ACH at the 76 gas station, where three people were detained,” Walker said, adding that the unnamed detainees were being held at the sheriff’s station. “We’re waiting for Beverly Hills [police] to pick them up.”

Lt. Angela Shepherd of the Crescenta Valley station, the watch commander on duty at the time of the incident, confirmed the call for backup came in at approximately 1:05 p.m.

Shepherd said the suspects were followed as they made their way to La Cañada, but that it was sheriff’s deputies who made the arrest.

“The car stopped for gas at the 76 station,” she surmised, adding that the three were detained at gunpoint.

Two employees at the gas station saw events unfold in the parking lot just outside the store. Cashier Manijot Singh estimated that about 15 or more police cars arrived on scene, and that many of the officers had their guns drawn.

“I saw outside and thought, ‘Oh my God, there’s a lot of cars out there.’ It was like a movie,” Singh said. “All the cops covered that area. [One officer] just pointed the gun and told them to lie down.”

Singh said he recognized the main suspect as a regular customer at the station. The young man was accompanied by a younger woman and an older woman.

A law enforcement official at the scene told Singh that the detention was related to a robbery.

Co-worker Harjit Singh (no relation) said the male suspect, described as having tattoos all over his arms, has come to the store on a regular basis for the past year.

“He always comes here and buys cigarettes and pizzas,” Harjit Singh said. “He’s always been nice with me.”

The suspect’s vehicle, a 2007 Lexus IS 350, was still parked at the gas station at around 2:30 p.m. awaiting retrieval. Manijot Singh said he was informed by a deputy that someone would be by within an hour or more to pick it up.

Harjit Singh said that police had looked in the trunk of the car during the detention but found nothing. The station attendant added that he accepted the job at the Union 76 two years ago because he considers La Cañada a safe community.

“I’ve been robbed four times in 16 years,” Harjit Singh said. “I like this area — nothing’s ever happened to me.”

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Follow Sara Cardine on Twitter: @SaraCardine.

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