Pair arrested in robbery and paintball shooting plead not guilty

A deputy checks on a robbery suspect in the back of his patrol car after an attempted robbery at Hobby Lobby in Saugus on Oct. 31. The suspects allegedly used paintball guns during the attempt. Katharine Lotze/Signal

A man and a woman arrested in connection with a robbery that ended in a paintball shooting Monday have entered pleas of not guilty to the felony charges filed against them.

Daniel Edward Armand, a 30-year-old transient, described in a prior arrest as a tattoo artist, and Jessica Poppe-Clifton, 27-year-old unemployed woman from Canyon Country, have each been charged with second-degree robbery, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Poppe-Clifton, who faces an additional felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, appeared Friday in San Fernando Superior Court where she entered a plea of not guilty.

Armand, who faces an additional misdemeanor count of carrying a switchblade knife on person, appeared Wednesday in the same court and also entered a plea of not guilty.

Both were ordered to appear back in court Nov. 10.

Armand’s bail was set at $150,000 while no bail amount was set for Poppe-Clifton, according to arrest papers maintained by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The pair was arrested Monday after Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to reports of a robbery at the Hobby Lobby in Saugus.

Deputies came under apparent fire from a paintball shooter when at least four gun shots were heard during the arrest of one suspect.

“The shots were from a paintball gun it seems,” one deputy told The Signal Monday.

No one was hurt in the incident.

The alleged robbery – which reportedly began as a shoplifting but ended in a scuffle with the manager – happened shortly after the Hobby Lobby store opened.

It’s located on Bouquet Canyon Road, north of Newhall Ranch Road.

Within a couple of minutes of having arrived at the store, deputies reported at least four shots fired.

Those shots turned out to be four “bright light blue” paintballs fired at the store by a woman driving a light grey GMC van, the manager of the Hobby Lobby store told The Signal.

When deputies arrived, they arrested the robbery suspect and immediately began looking for the woman in the van.

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