Security guard jailed in highway robberies


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Pilgrim
March 24, 2005, 03:37 PM
Guard jailed in highway robberies

Reedley security worker accused of pulling over cars on highways 41, 99.

By Tim Eberly / The Fresno Bee

(Updated Thursday, March 24, 2005, 5:53 AM)


A Reedley security guard was booked into jail Wednesday, accused of pulling over motorists on local highways, flashing his badge and robbing them.

Monico Ojastro Romero, 35, was arrested Tuesday evening while leaving a bar south of Fresno, at American and Clovis avenues, Fresno County sheriff's Sgt. Janice Rasmussen said.

Wednesday morning, Romero was booked into the Fresno County jail on $175,000 bond. He faces eight felony and three misdemeanor charges, including two counts of robbery and three counts of impersonating a peace officer.

Romero, who had been working as a security guard in Fresno, is accused of committing the highway robberies on Oct. 30, 2004; Feb. 24; and March 18. The holdups occurred on Freeway 99 and Freeway 41, near American Avenue.

Detectives tracked him down through a victim's stolen cell phone which Romero used to make calls, Rasmussen said.

After arresting Romero, sheriff's deputies searched his Reedley home and found property taken during all three robberies, Rasmussen said. Romero confessed to the crimes, and four people have identified him in a photo lineup.

Romero never told victims that he was a police officer, but he implied it in his dress and behavior, Rasmussen said. During the robberies, he wore his dark-blue security guard uniform that included a gun belt and a patch badge on the chest area, the sergeant said. He also flashed a badge that he carried in his wallet.

"They just assumed he was some kind of a cop," Rasmussen said.

While driving a red or orange Mitsubishi Eclipse, Romero typically followed motorists and flashed his high beams or lights at them, Rasmussen said. After they pulled over, he made the victims step out of their cars.

As they stood on the roadside, Romero pulled out a handgun and robbed them, Rasmussen said. He searched their vehicles and stole money, wallets, jewelry, video games and cell phones. He would let the motorists go after giving them a verbal warning not to speed. None of the victims was injured.

In the March robbery, three young men between 16 and 20 years old were driving north on Freeway 99 near American Avenue. The victims, from Selma, noticed another motorist pass them in the fast lane, then slow down and drive next to them. Romero shined a flashlight at the victims' car and motioned for them to pull over, the sergeant said.

They initially refused, but Romero pulled next to them again, rolled down his window and pointed a handgun at them, Rasmussen said. The victims then stopped and complied with Romero's demands.

http://www.fresnobee.com/local/v-printerfriendly/story/10187301p-11003807c.html

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Bear Gulch
March 24, 2005, 07:40 PM
Not the sharpest crayon in the box!

Standing Wolf
March 24, 2005, 07:45 PM
Detectives tracked him down through a victim's stolen cell phone which Romero used to make calls...

Some people aren't even smart enough to flip hamburgers.

Bear Gulch
March 24, 2005, 07:47 PM
But robbing folks is easier when they aren't allowed to have arms.

38SnubFan
March 25, 2005, 02:13 AM
Doesn't common sense tell you not to pull over unless you see RED AND BLUE WARNING LIGHTS? :confused:

If someone is riding my a$$ on the highway and flashing their high-beam headlamps, the first thing I'm doing is grabbing the cell phone and calling 911. The second thing is getting the heck away from this crazed psycho. Third, if necessary, is snapping the thumb-break and preparing to defend my life.

If, for some strange reason, it actually IS a cop, then the dispatcher will advise me that the traffic stop is legit, for the rules around here require LEOs to call in their traffic stops.

-Snub

ScorpioVI
March 25, 2005, 03:21 AM
Doesn't common sense tell you not to pull over unless you see RED AND BLUE WARNING LIGHTS?


Can't even trust that.

Not to give anybody any ideas or anything. But you know those little LED microlights? My friends and I were pretty buzzed, carpooling home from a club a couple of years ago. I have a red LED microlight on my key chain and was playing around with it for some reason. Another one of my friends had a blue one. Our friend who was sitting in the middle of the back seat grabbed the LEDs, and started flashing them alternately. Red, blue, red, blue, red, blue. We noticed the cars in front of us pulling over and changing lanes.

Stupid thing to do really, but we were drunk as hell except for our DD and thought it was funny as hell. But a criminal could easily use that ploy to pull people over.

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