Orange County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested the man they believe to be the armed robber known as the “apologetic bandit.”
Farhad Sharifi, 19, Aliso Viejo, was booked on suspicion of committing numerous robberies over the course of the last 12-14 months, including one at an Arco station in Mission Viejo in October, according to a sheriff’s press release.
In the October incident, the suspect left, saying: “"Have a good night, man. Sorry."
Deputies caught up to him early Friday morning after allegedly committing an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven convenience store, located at 24386 Muirlands Blvd., in Lake Forest, the release states.
Receiving the call at 3 a.m. Friday, deputies arrived at the 7-Eleven and noticed a “suspicious vehicle” leaving the area, the release says. So they followed the vehicle to area of Rockfield Boulevard and El Toro Road. Sharifi fled on foot, the release says.
Deputies established a perimeter and were able to find and arrest Sharifi, the release says.
“The follow-up investigation by sheriff's investigators have led them to believe that Sharifi is responsible for approximately 10 robberies of gas stations and convenience stores in the South Orange County area. A replica handgun (air soft gun), clothing and a mask similar to those worn during the series of robberies were recovered as evidence,” the release says.
Anyone with information regarding Sharifi or the robberies is encouraged to call Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators at (949) 425-1900. Anonymous tips or information may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at occrimestoppers.org.