Major Crimes Bureau Arrested Rowland Heights “99 Ranch Market” Robbery Suspect – Additional Suspects Sought
On Monday, August 15, 2022, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva along with Captain Steven Ruiz from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Major Crimes Bureau, held a press conference to announce the arrest of a suspect in the Rowland Heights “99 Ranch Market” robbery.
On July 9, 2022, Major Crimes Bureau’s – Metro Detail detectives learned of an armed robbery that occurred in the parking lot of the 99 Ranch Market in Rowland Heights, CA. An Asian female adult and an Asian male adult were walking to their vehicle in the parking lot when they were confronted by two male Black adult suspects wearing hoodies. The suspects were armed with handguns, and they demanded a watch one of the victims was wearing. Before the victims could react or comply with the suspects’ demands, they were physically assaulted by the suspects, causing both victims to fall to the ground. The suspects then physically removed the watch from the male’s wrist. The suspects fled in a white-colored Dodge Challenger with paper plates that contained distinctive traffic collision damage to the rear passenger fender.
With the assistance of local law enforcement agencies, investigators were able to identify Demoryie Watts as one of the suspects involved in the robbery.
On Friday, August 12, 2022, Major Crimes Bureau detectives, assisted by the LASD Special Enforcement Bureau, conducted a multi-location search warrant at two residences in Los Angeles and one in Lancaster that were associated with Suspect Watts.
During the search at the residence in Lancaster, Suspect Watts was located and safely taken into custody without incident. It was learned that at the time of the robbery, Suspect Watts was on parole for a prior carjacking arrest. The vehicle used during the robbery was located and a handgun believed to have been used during the robbery was also located and seized. Evidence was taken from the residence. However, the Rolex watch was not recovered during the arrest of the suspect.
Watts was arrested for robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and a parole violation. He is currently in custody and a second suspect is still outstanding.
“There is a lot of pieces of the puzzle that the community provides that allows us to turn that one lead into a clue and that clue into an evidentiary value that actually assisted us in capturing the suspect and identify him,” said LASD Major Crimes Bureau, Captain Steven Ruiz.
This specific crime was shocking to all because it occurred during broad daylight and at a peaceful family community in Rowland Heights. According to investigators, there is no evidence to indicate the subjects were motivated by hate.
“Our concern is now the District Attorney is not filing cases. Last year, 13,677 cases where we went to a call, spoke to victims, prepared a report, arrested a suspect, had all the evidence presented to the District Attorney and he refused to file charges because it was a special order and that blanket policy allowed a lot of people to continue harming the community,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Sheriff Villanueva emphasized the need of more deputies on the streets. The hiring freeze imposed by the Board of Supervisors is shrinking the Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County community is the one most affected by the brazen crime throughout Los Angeles County.