Fresno police arrest suspects accused of 3 day crime spree involving 9 businesses

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Fresno police said 21-year-old Blaze Lopez gave a full confession and said he was high on drugs and desperate for cash. (KFSN)

The silver Dodge Challenger with red stripes was something that witnesses and cameras could not ignore.

Fresno police said 21-year-old Blaze Lopez gave a full confession and said he was high on drugs and desperate for cash when he robbed several convenience stores and gas stations in Fresno.

"Blaze actually told one of my investigators that he didn't sleep from Thursday to Friday and he actually didn't remember committing some of these robberies he was so high," said Miguel Archon, Fresno Police Detective.

During one of the robberies, a frightened but attentive victim described the gun to detectives, down to the make and model.

Officers tracked down the getaway driver first. In front of the 7-Eleven on Palm and McKinley, Brian Johnson was taken into custody. Detectives say he was full of evidence.

"He had in his waistband a .45 caliber handgun which was determined to be a model 1911. He had two fully loaded magazines in his pocket, as well as $1,000 in cash," said Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police Chief.

At a convenience store on Fruit and Shields, a clerk said Lopez knocked him down before helping himself to clearing out the cash register of $250. The two got into a scuffle and the gun went off. It busted several bottles of Grey Goose vodka but no one was hurt.

Detectives said Lopez made one of his mistakes at another store when he left a perfect fingerprint.

But the two were also tied to the crime by the car they used and detectives later learned more about the timing of the robberies.

Investigators said all of the hold ups were ending at around 10:30 at night, the time the borrowed car had to be returned.

"This vehicle that was being driven in the robberies belonged to Brian Johnson's girlfriend. She got off work at 11pm and had to pick her up from work at 11 p.m. each night," said Dyer.

Each of the suspects is facing nine counts of armed robbery. If convicted they could serve 25 years to life in prison.

Officers were surprised to learn that neither Lopez nor Johnson had much of a criminal past.
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