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LA MESA -- A combined effort of law enforcement officials from La Mesa, San Diego and San Diego County quickly brought to an end a robbery spree that was underway last night night across several jurisdictions.
At about 11 p.m. Friday night, a man armed with a handgun robbed a female in the parking lot of the Vons grocery store located at 5630 Lake Murray Boulevard, La Mesa. Police said a male brandished a handgun and took the victim’s purse. The suspect fled to a nearby white crossover SUV, which was driven by a female, and the vehicle fled southbound on Lake Murray Boulevard.
Police said the victim immediately called the police and described the suspect with the gun as a black male adult wearing a hooded sweatshirt and the driver of the suspect vehicle as a black female adult. The victim also provided La Mesa police with the license plate on the suspect vehicle.
Earlier in the night, at approximately 8:25 p.m., San Diego Police responded to a similar robbery at Fashion Valley. In that case, the victims were also able to obtain the license plate on the suspect vehicle and the information was broadcast to surrounding law enforcement agencies. La Mesa police officers began searching the area with assistance from the San Diego Police helicopter. A La Mesa officer located the suspect vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate-8 near the I-15 interchange. With assistance from the helicopter and San Diego Sheriff Department's canine unit, officers from La Mesa and San Diego initiated a vehicle stop at Friars Road and Frazee Road and took two suspects into custody.
Investigators from La Mesa and San Diego worked together during the investigation and recovered the firearm used during the robbery (discovered to be a replica revolver) and the property stolen from the victims in both cases. The suspects were arrested and charged with robbery and conspiracy charges.
Suspect 1 was identified as Brian Coats, 22 years old, from San Diego. The second suspect was identified as Reynisha Bransford, 23 years old, from San Diego. Both were booked into county jails.
This investigation is on-going and anyone with information regarding either case is encouraged to call the La Mesa Police Department or the San Diego Police Department.
You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS (or www.sdcrimestoppers.com). You can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information in this case.