REDLANDS — Two Redlands police officers, including a watch commander, and two high school campus security guards worked overtime to solve a teenage robbery case Tuesday afternoon.
Two high school students who allegedly threatened, beat up and stole an iPod from two other teenagers were eventually caught with the help of witnesses and campus security at Redlands East Valley High School.
“There wasn’t much to it, really,” said Sgt. Stephen Crane. “We had witnesses. We got some help from the high school campus security.”
But Crane’s superior, Lt. Travis Martinez, singled out the efforts of his officers.
“The details of the crime were very convoluted,” Martinez said. “Several priority calls were holding for the oncoming shift. They (Officer Eddie Herrera and Crane) knew that if the investigation was postponed until detectives returned to duty, the chances of making arrests that result in a conviction and retrieving the stolen property would decrease.
“They both offered to stay after their shift in an attempt to apprehend these violent robbery suspects that prey on people smaller than them,” Martinez added.
The male victims, 14- and 16-years-old, were assaulted around 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, near the intersection of Colton Avenue and Judson Street. Police responded to a report of a fight in the area and learned of the robbery, officers said.
“It happens a lot,” Crane said of the fighting. The sergeant said witnesses had described a distinctive backpack and tattoo on one of the suspects.
Investigators went to the high school campus located in Mentone just outside the city of Redlands, getting help from security officers Glen Baskerville and Tammie Ruiz. They identified one of the suspects from the witness description.
Through additional investigation, officers identified the second suspect. The suspects, whose names are being withheld due to their ages, are 14 and 17. Both were arrested at their homes, charged with robbery and taken to Juvenile Hall. Police later recovered the stolen iPod, which had reportedly been sold by the suspects.
“Both of them confessed,” said Martinez.
Martinez said security guard Ruiz “has a thorough knowledge of who’s who on the REV campus. Without her help, there’s a strong likelihood the case wouldn’t have been solved and the property wouldn’t have been recovered.”