Gardena Man Charged in Indictment Alleging Five-Day Armed Robbery Spree of Donut Shops, Pet Clinic, and Other Businesses
LOS ANGELES – A South Bay man has been indicted on federal criminal charges alleging he committed a five-day armed robbery spree of nearly a dozen Los Angeles-area businesses, including four donut shops and the attempted robbery of a veterinarian’s office.
Justin Washington, 32, of Gardena, was named in a 14-count federal grand jury indictment returned on July 6. He is charged with 11 counts of Hobbs Act robbery and three counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Washington’s arraignment is expected in the coming weeks. He is currently in custody on separate state charges.
According to the indictment, between November 30 and December 4, 2020, Washington robbed and attempted to rob 10 businesses in the South Bay and in South Los Angeles. His alleged robbery spree began at the same Gardena grocery store, robbed on consecutive days on November 30 and December 1. From there, in Gardena, Washington allegedly robbed a 7-Eleven store, a donut shop and attempted to rob a veterinarian’s office. He allegedly then went on to rob a donut shop in Torrance, and, in South Los Angeles, a wireless phone store, a dry cleaner business, two additional donut shops and a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store.
During the robberies, Washington allegedly held the stores’ employees against their will, including, as charged in three counts, at gunpoint.
The total loss alleged in the indictment is approximately $5,679.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A violation of the Hobbs Act carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The offense of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.
The FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Torrance Police Department; the Gardena Police Department; the Los Angeles Police Department; and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Sara B. Milstein of the Violent and Organized Crime Section is prosecuting this case.