Phone store robbery in Stevenson Ranch ends in fiery crash

A Los Angeles County Fire Department truck moves quickly to scene.
A Los Angeles County Fire Department truck moves quickly to scene. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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Phone thieves hit a cell phone store in Stevenson Ranch Monday night – the sixth of such theft in less than two months – then crashed the getaway car in a fiery solo vehicle crash about a mile from the robbery.

The robbery happened about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday at the AT&T store on The Old Road at Pico Canyon Road. The crash and fire happened at 9 p.m.

Although there were no customers at the time, two store staffers were inside the store when it was robbed.

“They came in and snatched the phones and left,” a woman identifying herself as the store manager told
The Signal Tuesday.

The thieves stole at least three phones including the Samsung S8 Plus cell phone, she said.

“There are no suspects at this point,” Sgt. Chris Maurizi of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal.

Maurizi, who leads the investigation into cell phone robberies, told The Signal last week that the recent flurry of robberies and smash-and-grab burglaries at cell phone outlets has been fuelled by the release of the latest cell phones.

Since Sept. 8, thieves have hit six phone stores in the SCV stealing phones and getting away.

Within five minutes of Monday night’s robbery, emergency response crews were called to a car fire on Pico Canyon Road, west of Stevenson Ranch Parkway.

“We were dispatched to a vehicle fire,” Inspector Randall Wright, of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

Firefighters responded to the call at 9:03 p.m.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to the same call.  All they found was a car on fire, no people.

When the “all clear” was given by deputies, firefighters extinguished the car fire at 9:38 p.m., Wright said.

“There was no fire that spread to the brush,” he said. “No one was transported to the hospital.”

Monday’s robbery marks the sixth time in less than two months phones have been stolen from phone stores either through smash-and-grab burglaries of robberies.

Other recent phone thefts include:

– Oct. 25 – two men entered the store shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, on Soledad Canyon Road, at Sand Canyon Road, and stole at least four cell phones, a woman working at the store told The Signal.

– Oct. 24 – thieves smashed the storefront window of a phone store on Newhall Avenue, stealing iPhone 8 phones.

– Sept. 8 – Shortly after 1:50 p.m. Friday two suspects described as two African-American men in their 20s entered the Verizon store at the Valencia Marketplace complex on The Old Road near McBean Parkway.

– Sept. 12 – The robbery happened about 9 p.m. when three men wearing ski masks entered the AT & T store on Bouquet Canyon Road at Newhall Ranch Road, demanding merchandise and money.

– Sept. 26 – About 9 p.m., two masked men entered the Verizon store on The Old Road and stole more than 100 pieces of technology, more $85,000 worth of cell phone technology.

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