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Press Release

North Hollywood Man Charged in Federal Complaint Alleging Armed Robbery Spree of a Dozen Southern California Businesses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley man has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with the attempted armed robbery of a Downey business – an attack in which a store employee pulled out a firearm and opened fire – as part of a series of armed robberies of other businesses in Los Angeles and Orange counties during a two-week crime spree earlier this year, the Justice Department announced today.

Antonio Bland, 34, of North Hollywood, is charged in a criminal complaint with one count of attempted interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act). Bland, who was in state custody until earlier this week, made his initial appearance on Wednesday in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles and was ordered jailed without bond. His arraignment is scheduled for June 10.

Complaints have also been filed against two other suspected accomplices, who also face attempted Hobbs Act robbery charges: 

  • Ronnie Tucker, 22, of Long Beach, who is expected to be transferred to federal custody in the coming weeks.
  • Abigail Luckey, 49, of North Hollywood, who was the alleged getaway driver in the February 14 robbery of the Downey donut shop. She was ordered released on bond in state court but has since failed to appear in court and is considered a fugitive.

According to an affidavit filed May 13 with the complaints, from January 29 to February 14, Bland and his accomplices are suspects in armed robberies of 11 other businesses: one smoke shop in Tustin, nine 7-Eleven stores in North Hollywood, Burbank, Torrance, Van Nuys, Long Beach, Glendale, Pasadena, and one donut shop in Los Angeles.

“We’ve seen too much violent gun crime in our community and it has to stop,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “Our Operation Safe Cities initiative is intended to do just that. Violent criminals should take heed that federal and local partners are collaborating more than ever to ensure that there are consequences for those who engage in gun crime.”

“Mr. Bland and others went on a mission to violently rob employees of small businesses in and around Los Angeles,” said Krysti Hawkins, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI is dedicated to working with our local partners to pursue the most violent criminals wreaking havoc on our communities. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of fugitive Abigail Luckey is urged to contact the FBI.”

“We appreciate the ongoing partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office, which will go a long way in holding these individuals accountable for their alleged violent actions on our community,” said Burbank Police Chief Michael Albanese.

These commercial robberies typically occurred late at night and usually involved two men who entered each business wearing hooded sweatshirts and face masks. In several of the robberies, a getaway driver waited outside for the subjects to complete the robbery and fled the scene in a white four-door sedan when the subjects returned to the vehicle.

The spree ended after Bland, along with two other individuals, committed an attempted armed robbery of a donut shop in Downey during the early morning hours of February 14, the affidavit states.

Once the subjects entered the donut shop, one yelled, “Open the cash register!” The employee noticed that one of the subjects, believed to be Bland, had what appeared to be a handgun tucked into his front waistband with the handle visible. Fearing that the subjects were going to harm him, the employee ran toward the rear kitchen area from behind the main sales counter. The subjects jumped the counter in pursuit of him. The employee retrieved his own firearm to defend himself. To deter the suspects from attacking him, he fired at least one shot, hitting a wall of the building.

After the employee fired, the subjects ran out of the store.

Law enforcement witnessed the attempted robbery and, shortly afterward, pulled over a car containing Bland and two other individuals, and later retrieved a firearm from the vehicle.

A complaint is merely an allegation, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, Bland and the other defendants would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Operation Safe Cities establishes strategic enforcement priorities with an emphasis on prosecuting the most significant drivers of violent crime. Across this region, the most damaging and horrific crimes are committed by a relatively small number of particularly violent individuals. This strategic enforcement approach is expected to increase the number of arrests, prosecutions and convictions of recidivists engaged in the most dangerous conduct. It is designed to improve public safety across the region by targeting crimes involving illicit guns, prohibited persons possessing firearms, or robbery crews that cause havoc and extensive losses to retail establishments.

The FBI and the Burbank Police Department are investigating with assistance from the Tustin, Torrance, Long Beach, Glendale, Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Downey police departments.

Assistant United States Attorneys J’me K. Forrest of the Violent and Organized Crime Section and Diane Roldán of the General Crimes Section are prosecuting this case.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated May 23, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-126