Stephen Ellison

Vallejo Man Arrested in String of Armed Robberies at Bay Area Cellphone Stores

A 21-year-old Vallejo man was arrested this week after an armed robbery spree police called bold, busy and dangerous.

Juan Murillo was arrested Tuesday after Concord police investigators say he robbed a dozen cellphone stores at gunpoint across the North Bay and East Bay this month.

Surveillance video obtained by police shows one of the robberies in which Murillo takes a clerk to the supply room at gunpoint and fills up his backpack with pricey cellphones.

"All of them involved a firearm," Concord police Lt. Mike Kindorf said. "Very dangerous, potentially very violent and very bold. Broad daylight, when businesses open, in some cases with customers inside the store."

Murillo hit at least a dozen stores, traveling to six cities in four different counties, police said. In each case, he made off with hundreds of dollars from the cash register, and in some cases he helped himself to phones.

"Very terrifying for the victims that were in that situation," Vacaville police Lt. Mark Donaldson said. "Those store clerks that had to go through having a gun pointed at them. Terrifying moments."

Police finally connected the dots after Murillo allegedly hit four stores on Saturday alone. His car was seen leaving one of scenes, police said. That clue helped them identify the hooded man as Murillo.

"You just don’t know what could have happened had he not been taken off the streets," Donaldson said.

Shoppers say they are relieved the cellphone store robbery suspect is out of service and in jail.

"I don’t want anybody walking around like that," shopper Kimberly Downs said. "What if we were in the store at the time?"

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