Photo: Randy Severdia
SAN RAFAEL—Two men have been arrested in connection with two armed robberies for several cartons of cigarettes. Both crimes occurred in the predawn hours on December 19.
First, a Shell gas station was robbed in Novato. About an hour later a Circle K convenience store was robbed in San Rafael.
Novato officers responded to the gas station at 3:47 a.m. A clerk reported a man who entered the business asked if a credit card could be used to purchase cartons of cigarettes.
The clerk pointed to a credit card machine on the counter. Instead of paying, the suspect lifted his shirt revealing a pistol tucked inside his waist band.
The suspect demanded that the clerk hand over the cigarettes. The clerk complied and the suspect fled with several cartons of cigarettes. The incident was recorded on video by the store surveillance cameras.
At 4:58 a.m., San Rafael officers responded to a robbery at the Circle K store. A similar suspect asked for several cartons of cigarettes. Instead of paying he lifted his jacket to reveal a handgun inside his waist band.
The suspect also demanded money from the cash register. The clerk complied and the suspect fled with cigarettes and cash. Again, it was all recorded by the store security cameras.
Novato and San Rafael police conducted a joint investigation. It culminated in the arrests of Elliot F. Malone, 31 of Petaluma and Randy Severdia, 49 of Novato. Both men were booked at Marin County Jail.
Malone who was arrested by San Rafael PD on December 23 remains in custody in lieu of $125,000 bond. His charges include robbery, exhibiting a firearm, grand theft, and violation of probation.
The second suspect, Severdia was taken into custody by Novato PD on December 31. Severdia was arrested for the robberies, but he is no longer in custody.