General Crime

iPhone Robbery Suspect Spotted by Police Helicopter, Suspect Chased and Caught


On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 5:15 P.M., Fresno, California Skywatch police helicopter crew J. Logue and K. Schneider responded to Shields and Brawley in Fresno regarding a robbery that just occurred. A 22-year-old female was sitting inside the McDonalds studying on her Ipad when a subject walked up to her, allegedly forcefully took the Ipad from her hands and ran out of the restaurant. The victim ran after the suspect and called a male friend who she knew was nearby. She also called 911. The male friend arrived minutes later and confronted the suspect about the robbery. The suspect then attacked the male friend and stole his Iphone before again running away. The Skywatch aircrew heard the radio broadcast and arrived overhead less than a minute later. As the aircrew arrived they saw the female victim at Shields and Valentine jumping and waving to the helicopter. She pointed to the east where the aircrew saw a subject matching the description running into the apartment complex on the northeast corner of Shields and Valentine.

The aircrew watched the suspect run through the complex and into an apartment. They maintained an airborne perimeter until ground units arrived. Officers then made contact with the occupants of the apartment and located the suspect inside. The suspect, 23-year-old Michael Johnson, was detained without incident and was positively identified by both victims as the one who allegedly robbed them. Their stolen items were also recovered inside the apartment.

As officers were dealing with Johnson, the aircrew saw another subject exit a second story window of the apartment and attempt to hide on the roof. They directed officers to the subject who complied after being ordered to get down. This subject was identified as a 16-year-old probationer who was not involved in the robberies.

Johnson was arrested for two counts of strong-arm robbery and booked into the Fresno County Jail. The juvenile was arrested for violating terms of his probation and was booked into the Juvenile Justice Center.

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