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Shots fired during armed robbery at Danville Costco

Friday incident marks second smash-and-grab at wholesale store this month

Danville police are investigating a robbery with shots fired at Costco, with three unknown culprits still at-large as of late Friday afternoon.

No one was hit by the two bullets discharged by robbers, but police said one bystander was treated medically for shock after the incident -- the second smash-and-grab theft at the Danville Costco in as many weeks.

Danville police chief Steve Simpkins said there were "obviously similarities" between the two robberies, but there was no conclusive evidence linking the crimes thus far.

"Danville is a really safe place, even with these two violent crimes. But one is too many. Unacceptable," Simpkins added.

Friday's robbery took place around 12:15 p.m. at the Costco on Fostoria Way, when two men wearing masks and hoodies entered the warehouse store while an associate waited outside in a getaway car, according to Simpkins.

One robber went to a glass jewelry case, smashed it with a hammer and stole some items, Simpkins said.

When a Costco employee tried to intervene, the second robber fired a single shot from a handgun into the air, forcing the employee to retreat, according to the police chief.

The two robbers ran out of the store to a newer-model silver Toyota Camry with paper license plates driven by a male described as white or Hispanic, Simpkins said. While the car was driving away, they fired a second shot into the air.

The robbers who went inside the store were described as male, 5-foot-9 to 6-foot in height with slender builds. One wore a black hoodie, gray pants, gloves and a mask, while the other had a black hoodie, black pants, gloves and a mask.

A bystander fell while trying to avoid the robbers during the incident and was later treated for shock, according to Simpkins.

Costco was closed for nearly 2-1/2 hours Friday afternoon while officers investigated the robbery, reopening around 2:45 p.m., according to police.

Simpkins said investigators are working leads to track down the car and robbers as quickly as possible.

The latest robbery follows another smash-and-grab at Costco on May 8, a late-evening incident that saw three people walk into the store, break a display case and steal items, according to Simpkins. No gun was seen during that incident.

The trio tried to run out of the store, but one was caught, one got into a getaway car and the other ran away in another direction, according to Simpkins, who said police now think there was another suspect inside that car.

In the May 8 incident, Kesean Edwards, a 21-year-old resident of Oakland, was tackled by store employees and pinned to the ground, according to police. He was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy and burglary.

Simpkins said he was unsure if Edwards was still in jail custody as of Friday afternoon. Police are still looking for the three other suspects in last week's case, according to the chief.

The police chief said there were some similarities between the two incidents, but noted there were different vehicles, different outfits and different weapons involved.

Anyone who witnessed Friday's robbery or has information related to either case can contact Danville police at 820-2144.

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