Robbed 25 businesses, their employees and customers
By Detective Thomas Smith, Antioch Police Department
In August of 2021, the cities of Antioch, Pittsburg, Concord, Brentwood, Bay Point, and Clayton began experiencing a rash of armed robberies. Over approximately 90 days, an estimated twenty-five robberies occurred throughout the county. The responsible subjects were described as Hispanic males in their late teens or early twenties, with masks covering their faces. It was determined by investigators from each agency that the robberies were related, and they were able to establish several viable leads to identify the responsible parties.
On November 3rd, 2021, an armed robbery occurred in the city of Concord. Investigators from the Concord Police Department notified the other involved agencies, and the suspect vehicle was located and stopped in the city of Bay Point. All three occupants were residents of Pittsburg, CA, and were suspected of being responsible for the series of robberies in Contra Costa County. Evidence of the robbery(ies) was located inside the vehicle, and all three suspects were taken into custody.
Following their apprehension, investigators from the Pittsburg, Antioch and Concord Police Departments served several residential search warrants in the city of Pittsburg. During the searches, evidence linking the suspects to the robberies was located. On Friday, November 5th the cases were presented to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office reviewed the cases and filed felony charges with enhancements, on 18-year-old Samuel Banales-Melena, 20-year-old Jonathan Medina-Flores, and 18-year-old Rogelio Medina-Flores for their participation in the robberies.
This case was successful due to the collaboration of the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation. This investigation weighed heavily on the implementation and use of technology, to include license plate reading cameras in the City of Antioch and other technological surveillance efforts. The Antioch Police Department would like to thank the Pittsburg Police Department for taking lead on the investigation, as well as the Concord Police Department for their diligent efforts in apprehending the suspects in these cases, bringing a violent crime spree to an end. As always, the investigation is on-going. If you have any information regarding these robberies, please contact the Antioch Police Department at your earliest convenience.
Anonymous tips or information about this – or any other incident – can be sent via text to 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword ANTIOCH.