Originally posted at 10:57 a.m. April 28, 2014. Edited to correct a source error.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies have in custody today the man believed to be the “Midnight/Plaid Shirt Bandit,” accused of robbing dozens of gas stations, fast-food restaurants and convenience stores throughout the Southland, including Newport Beach.
The crime spree stretched from April 2012 through June 2013, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department press release.
In some of the cases, the suspect would make the victim lie on the ground before fleeing. In June of 2013, a press conference was held asking the public’s help in identifying the suspect, authorities said. The public was shown pictures of the suspect from some of the robberies. Since that press conference, the robberies stopped.
In addition to a Dec. 29 2012 hold-up at a Los Alamitos Shell Station on 10961 Los Alamitos Boulevard, the Midnight/Plaid Shirt Bandit has been linked to 57 other robberies in Anaheim, Bell, Buena Park, Burbank, Culver City, Garden Grove, Glendale, Huntington Park, La Palma, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Monterey Park, Newport Beach, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Southgate and Torrance.
Deputies now believe Jermaine D. Shepherd, 37, is responsible.
The press conference prompted numerous tips and insights to the possible identity of the Midnight/Plaid Bandid, officials said. Especially helpful were witnesses’ accounts of his unusual gait.
LASD detectives’ investigation led them to Bakersfield where additional information was obtained, said the press release, without going into detail.
On Feb. 11, 2014, detectives presented their case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, where they filed five counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and they obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect.
A week later, with the help of Kern County Sheriff’s deputies, their Los Angeles counterparts searched several locations in Bakersfield, finding what deputies believe are the plaid shirts worn in the robberies.
Shepherd was then arrested.
A live line-up was conducted with witnesses and the District Attorney filed an additional 26 counts, officials said. Shepherd has since been arraigned, with bail set at $2.4 million. The Preliminary hearing is set for June 20, in Pomona Court.
Detectives are hoping to file another eight counts of robbery in Orange County.If you have any additional information, deputies encourage you to call LASD Major Crimes Bureau at (562-946-7893), Detectives Lorenz or Cabral, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous calls are welcomed.