Tulare police investigating wave of robberies within the city

Elisa Navarro Image
Thursday, January 6, 2022
Tulare police investigating wave of robberies within the city
Police are on alert after a wave of robberies in Tulare, two of which took place at the Tulare Outlet Center.

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the last two weeks, robbers have hit four times in Tulare, with the most recent one Wednesday morning.

A suspect walked into a business West of Bardsley Avenue and got away with cash before police arrived.

"They were in possession of a weapon and assaulted the victim in the store and made off with the money," said Tulare Police Lt. Andrew Garcia.

Three other robberies happened during the holidays.

"On December 24, we had a bank robbery at our chase bank," Garcia said.

One suspect fired a gunshot inside the bank and left with an undisclosed about of money at around 10 am.

RELATED: Shots fired during robbery at Chase bank in Tulare, police searching for 2 suspects

Shortly after, on December 29, at around 9 am, two older women walking on the Northside of the Tulare Outlet Center were held at gunpoint.

Lt. Andrew Garcia says the incident involved three suspects who had their faces covered.

Police say one woman was "pistol-whipped" by one of the armed men after they took her wallet with her money and credit cards. The other lady was knocked to the ground during the confrontation.

Tulare resident, Mary Bustos, says she loves shopping at the center and was surprised to hear the news.

"It surprised me because I thought, 'I was just there the day before,' and it was scary. It could have been me," said Tulare resident, Mary Bustos.

RELATED: 2 women robbed at gunpoint at Tulare Outlet Mall, police say

On Friday, December 31, around 1 pm, a second robbery happened at the outlets.

Lt Garcia says a masked suspect snatched a woman's purse and ran.

Action News spoke with Dotti Montana, General Manager of the Tulare Outlets about what customers should know about their safety.

"Customer Safety is our top priority, and we are working close with law enforcement. It's unfortunate that this crime has taken place in our county and quite frankly throughout the country," Montana said.

Bustos says she doesn't like going anywhere alone, even if there is security, and wants to remind people to take extra precautions.

"The times are so different. We have to be more aware of our surroundings," Bustos said.

Advice Lt. Garcia highly encourages as well.

"We want the public to know that if you have to go out and about, do it in pairs, do it during the day and be cautious of your surroundings," he said.

Police are investigating all four robberies.

At this time, it is unknown if they are connected, but it hasn't been ruled out.

Lt. Garcia said the biggest challenge is that every suspect has covered their face, making them harder to identify.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tulare Police Department.