Two men were arrested today in connection with four armed robberies at Concord businesses over the past week, police said. Police said detectives investigating the robberies found probable cause to arrest 57-year-old Richard French for three of the crimes. Officers served an arrest and search warrant for his vehicle and home in the 5400 block of Roundtree Court, according to police.
French, who was also wanted on a $100,000 felony fraud warrant outside of Concord, was arrested at his home around 11:30 a.m., police said. During the search of his residence, police found the gun believed to be used in all four robberies and other evidence linking him to each of the crimes, according to police. Meanwhile, officers also discovered evidence that an accomplice, 50-year-old Concord resident Charles Curry, was also involved in the robberies, police said.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and weapons violations and taken to county jail in Martinez. The arrests came less than a day after the two latest robberies, which were reported within 15 minutes of one another. Around 6:20 p.m. Wednesday, a suspect armed with a gun entered the Pet Food Express stores in the Clayton Valley Shopping Center at 5434 Ygnacio Valley Road, according to police.
The man threatened a cashier and grabbed an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the store, police said. At 6:33 p.m., police responded to reports of a second robbery less than a mile away at the UPS Store at 5100 Clayton Road, according to police. In that robbery, a man also brandished a gun and made off with cash, said Tricia Tamura, the store’s manager.
Tamura, who was not in the store when it was robbed, said there were two employees but no customers inside the shop when the robbery occurred. Officers searched areas around the two businesses on Wednesday but were unable to locate any suspects. Police believe French and Curry were also behind an armed robbery on Saturday morning at Sally’s Beauty Supply in the Clayton Valley Shopping Center, and another around 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Yogurt Shack, located in the same shopping center.
The series of burglaries put area business owners and employees on alert. Tamura said the robbery at her store Wednesday night came about three years after burglars broke into the shop one day while it was closed. She said this morning that the store was reviewing its security measures after learning that other nearby retailers were also targeted. “That’s a little worrisome,” she said.
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