Arlington police are investigating whether three suspects who tried to rob a convenience store with BB guns Saturday are linked to more than a dozen similar cases in the city this year.
Two men and a woman remained in Arlington jail Monday with their bail set at $10,000 each.
Mark David Crespo, 19, Jeffrey Laurence Ford-Harris, 20, and Ariella Mae Francis Ramsey, 21, were arrested Saturday after police responded to a robbery-in-progress call at a store in the 5600 block of South Cooper Street.
When officers arrived about 11:30 p.m., they found one of the suspects in a vehicle before detaining the other two as they left the store, Sgt. VaNessa Harrison, a police spokeswoman, said.
A witness who saw two of the suspects enter the store carrying weapons called police. Officers arrived before the store was robbed, Harrison said. No one was injured.
Police found five BB guns with the suspects, each the size of a handgun.
In April, a 15-year-old pointed a similar BB gun at an Arlington police officer who was sitting in his patrol vehicle in a church parking lot. The officer knocked the gun out of the teen’s hand.
In February, a 44-year-old man dressed in SWAT gear robbed a clerk at a payday lender with an Airsoft BB gun rifle, police said.
Harrison said suspects in the cases this year have given police similar explanations for using the fake guns.
“They’ve said the BB guns look real and it allows them to commit the crime,” Harrison said. “And it’s cheaper than buying a gun and having to get a background check.”