Updated: Man Robs Starbucks with Gun and Gas Mask

Deputies are searching for a suspect who held up the Laguna Niguel Starbucks on Golden Lantern early Friday.

A manhunt is underway for a suspect who robbed the Starbucks at 30211 Golden Lantern this morning.

According to sheriff's Lt. Jim England, a man walked into the coffeehouse with a gun and wearing a gas mask and a dark, hooded sweatshirt at 11:17 a.m. He made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, said England.

With the help of police dogs, authorities are searching the neighborhood surrounding the Starbucks.

Updated: 7:30 p.m.

Deputies are still searching for the suspect, no further information or new developments.

Updated: 3:10 p.m.

According to England, deputies are still searching for the suspect. 

Several sheriffs’ cars and a CSI van were still at the scene. More than 15 customers who stopped by the store on Golden Lantern were greeted with a sign that read: "closed for emergency" rather than a smiling barista.

Some of those customers headed to the Starbucks a few blocks away on the 31000 block of Golden Lantern in Dana Point to get their daily cup. Managers at the Dana Point location said they received a call from the district manager telling them what had happened earlier. 

The store remains closed at 30211 Golden Lantern St., in Marina Hills.

Additionally, Gregory J. Merwin, principal at nearby sent an email to parents via the district's listserve about the incident: 

"We would like to inform you of an incident that happened today.  The Starbucks on Marina Hills and Golden Lantern was robbed at approximately 11:15 this morning.  Once we heard about the incident, we immediately contacted the sheriff’s department to determine whether or not we should initiate a “school lockdown.” The sheriff’s department assured us that we were not in imminent danger and that a lockdown was not necessary. Between 11:15 and dismissal time we communicated with the sheriff’s department on multiple occasions to determine if there were any potential threats to our students. The sheriff’s office reassured us each time that the students were safe and that no action was necessary.  Out of precaution, we decided to lock all outside doors on the north side of the school (immediately adjacent to Chapparosa) for the remainder of the day. 

"Rest assured, if our school is ever placed in a lock down situation, or if we are ever in any danger of any kind, we will respond swiftly and appropriately, and we will notify you via email and/or phone as quickly as possible."

"The safety of your children continues to be our number one concern. Thank you for your continued support of George White School."

Gregory J. Merwin, Ed.D

Smokey Bear December 01, 2012 at 07:33 PM
They know who it is, his name, but even if they didnt, those eyebrows would be a dead give away. Is there a bounty on this guy? we could all use the christmas money!
Lee Starbuck December 01, 2012 at 11:17 PM
I was at Starbuck's yesterday when the robber came in at the Marina Hills store, I ws standing at the corner waiting for a sweet roll when I looked up and saw this gas-masked man standing across the counter looking at the cashier. He showed the cashier his gun right in front of me and asked her for the keys. At that point I moved out of his line of sight and a few minutes later saw him running out the door. He jumped on a red bike and sped off. I went back today and found out that they had arrested him in Laguna Beach and he was drunk.
Debbie L. Sklar December 02, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Sheryl: Thanks for the info, we'll follow up on the other incidents ....
Debbie L. Sklar December 02, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Shirl: ...and folks say L.N. is a sleepy town.
Debbie L. Sklar December 02, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Leah: checking it out, stay tuned for an update.


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