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Suspected serial robbery arrest, gang crime drop, chief search highlighted at meeting

Police believe the robbers hit 22 businesses in three counties and in some cases tied up and pistol-whipped their victims.

Thanks to a “really good job” by Anaheim detectives, Capt. Bob Conklin said Wednesday, police believe the robbers will no longer pose a threat to cashiers at pawn shops and fast food restaurants.

Conklin congratulated detectives, patrol officers and the Crime Task Force at a meeting of the police department’s top leadership for their work in identifying and arresting three suspects.

The arrest wasn’t the only big news at the department’s monthly crime analysis meeting, attended by about 50 people.

Detectives have solved all gang killings so far this year. Overall violent crime is down. And perhaps most encouraging, gang crime is down significantly across the board – a sign that the department’s new strategy to mix youth services with the gang unit is working.

The department also just completed its first “mobile” citizen’s academy – an effort to build closer relationships in the community. About 20 citizens graduated. Lt. Alex Orozco said some were asking how they could continue to engage with the police.

“They went in with a certain perception of what we do, and quite honestly, the perception wasn’t all good,” he said. “The feedback we got at graduation is they have a better understanding, and they were appreciative.”

Interim Chief Raul Quezada announced that the city will begin a nationwide search for a permanent police chief in October. They plan to have a recommendation by mid-December, he said.

Quezada also commended Det. Chris Masilon, who spent his own money to buy school supplies, clothing and new shoes for a child living in poverty who was part of an Orange County Family Justice Center program.

“It speaks a lot to your character,” Quezada said. “And I just want to thank you.”

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