7-Eleven crime: Accomplice pleads guilty to 7 years in prison in connection with SoCal heists and shooting
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — A 44-year-old Los Angeles man pleaded guilty Monday to seven years in prison for his role in a series of robberies of 7-Elevens stores in Southern California last summer.
Jason Payne pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery, according to the Orange County Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say Payne never actually set foot in the stores but is an accomplice of Malik Patt, 20.
Patt, who has yet to stand trial, is accused of murdering three people during the robberies.
The crime spree allegedly began on July 9, 2022 with the murder of a homeless man at Block 16100 of Parthenia Street near Woodley Avenue in North Hills. This murder happened about 200 yards from a 7-Eleven store that was robbed later that day.
Authorities said the 7-Eleven crime spree took place on July 11 — or 7-11 — beginning in Ontario. Police said just after midnight the 7-Eleven at 636 N. Vine Ave. was robbed. The suspect ambushed the store with a pistol, but no shots were fired and no one was injured.
At 1:35 a.m., the 7-Eleven store at 2410 W. Arrow Route in Upland was robbed, police said.
At 1:50 a.m., the 7-Eleven store at 5102 La Sierra Ave. robbed by gunman in Riverside. This robbery escalated when the suspect shot and killed a customer who was hospitalized.
Minutes after 3 a.m. on July 11, the Yum Yum Donuts store at 2441 N. Tustin St. in Santa Ana was robbed, police said. About 20 minutes later, 24-year-old Santa Ana resident Matthew Rule was fatally shot outside the 7-Eleven store at 302 E. 17th St. in Santa Ana.
Officers found Rule in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to the torso, Santa Ana Police Department Sgt. Maria Lopez said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin said Rule was not the shooter’s primary target. The shooter was targeting someone else, but Rule “intervened” to “divert” the robber and was shot, Valentin said.
Brea Police said they responded at 4:17 a.m. at the 7-Eleven store at 109 W. Lambert Road and found a male store employee fatally shot in a mugging that officers determined was a robbery. The clerk was later identified as 40-year-old Matthew Hirsch, who died at the scene, police said.
About half an hour later, the 7-Eleven store is at 381 E. Whittier Blvd. robbed and two people shot dead in La Habra, according to La Habra Police Department Sgt. Eric Roy. Both victims were taken to a hospital and survived. Police said the victims were an employee and a customer.
Based on surveillance footage, police said they could link the same suspect to all the raids.
The Ontario and Upland robberies are prosecuted in San Bernardino County.
Patt and Payne were arrested by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Orange County Violent Crime Task Force on Friday, July 15, 2022 in Los Angeles.
The City News Service contributed to this report.
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