San Francisco

3 Arrested in Connection to Series of Takeover-Style Robberies in Bay Area

The trio was arrested while allegedly attempting to rob a San Francisco bar on Friday.

Police say a team of three robbers who terrorized Bay Area restaurant workers in 23 takeover-style robberies are under arrest.

Kristoffer Jones, 18, of Albany, and two Oakland residents, 40-year-old Shawan Spragans and 46-year-old Merl Simpson, were arrested in connection with the series of takeover-style robberies since early March, according to police.

The trio was arrested while allegedly attempting to rob a San Francisco bar on Friday.

Nine of the robberies have been in Berkeley, police said. Businesses in San Francisco, San Leandro, Albany, Oakland and Hayward were also targeted during the spree.

In one of the alleged robberies, Chris Nobbie faced two masked armed gunmen who stormed the Bernal Pizza in San Francisco.

"He just kept screaming, 'Where is the rest of the money?' But it's a pizza paror, most of our stuff is in credit card transactions," Nobbie said.

Berkeley police called it a "steadily evolving robbery series" in which restaurants were hit after closing time by the same suspects, who had a calm demeanor during the incidents.

After the third Berkeley location was robbed, Berkeley police detectives began working jointly with other local police departments as well as the FBI on the investigation.

It was when the suspects tried to rob a San Francisco bar that was under surveillance by the San Francisco Police Department early Friday morning that arrests were made in the case, police said.

For victims, knowing the gunmen are off the street is a relief.

"It's definitely a relief they caught them and we don't have to worry about them coming back," Nobbie said.

Police are asking anyone who has additional information on the case to call 510-981-5900.

NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle contributed to this report.

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