PALM DESERT, Calif. - Police have arrested two Desert Hot Springs men, now accused of robbing a Palm Desert cell phone store on the 34200 block of Monterey. The suspects were identified as Julio Marcos Aguilar, 20, and Jose Cruz Gutierrez, 23.
Police said they got a break in the case, and tied them to the Palm Desert holdup, by the crime's many similarities to another robbery in West Covina. There, officers arrested two Desert Hot Springs men, who they said stole cell phones and cash from a T-Mobile store Wednesday. Police arrested Aguilar and Gutierrez Friday.
Investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff's department tied Aguilar and Gutierrez to the Palm Desert Robbery after learning of the Friday arrests and investigating the men's ties to the Coachella Valley.
Police initially described the suspect in the Palm Desert robbery, Feb. 15, as a Hispanic man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and pants. He was armed with a handgun and demanded money from clerks. He drove off in a silver-colored Honda with tinted windows away from the Walmart Shopping center near Date Palm and Monterey.
Investigators served search warrants at two homes in Desert Hot Springs, one on the 19000 block of Tumbleweed Trail, the other on the 66600 block of Estrella Drive. They also searched a third home on the 68600 block of Tortuga Road in Cathedral City and recovered several cellular phones believed to have been taken in the robbery. Investigators said they also located evidence linking the suspects to the Palm Desert T-Mobile robbery.
Police said they were looking into other area robberies to see if they might also be linked to Aguilar and Gutierrez.