LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Downey man faces arraignment today for his alleged role in the armed robberies of GameStop stores in Los Angeles and Orange counties that resulted in the theft of $135,000 in merchandise, cash and employees’ cellphones.
Frederick Lopez Jr., 27, is expected to plead not guilty before a federal magistrate judge in downtown Los Angeles to four counts of interference with commerce by robbery and related gun charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Federal prosecutors allege Lopez took part in armed robberies of GameStop stores in Lynwood, Rowland Heights, West Covina and Brea last year between Aug. 28 and Oct. 26.
The defendant allegedly entered the video game stores at night, sometimes accompanied by an unidentified suspect, and made small talk with the GameStop clerks before brandishing a gun and demanding merchandise and money from the cash register.
Lopez and his accomplice also stole victims’ cell phones and, on two occasions, ordered the employees to help load the stolen merchandise into a silver minivan registered to Lopez, documents filed in Los Angeles federal court allege.
Lopez’s fingerprint was found on a Nintendo entertainment system recovered from the scene of the Brea robbery, and witnesses and victims later identified him as one of the suspects, the criminal complaint alleges.
Each of the robbery counts in the indictment carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.