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Cerritos’ Trader Joe’s Hit With Brazen Armed Robbery

BY BRIAN HEWS • October 24, 2020

The Trader Joe’s in Cerritos Towne Center near the 91 freeway was robbed this past Thursday Oct. 23 by a brazen armed gunman.

According to the Cerritos Sheriff’s Incident Report, the robbery occurred ten minutes before closing time, approximately 8:50 p.m., when an unidentified male walked into the store, pointed a gun at  the manager, and demanded money.

The manager, fearing for his safety and the safety of others, handed over $1,000 in cash to the robber.

The robber then exited the store “in an unknown direction.”

Cerritos Sheriff’s indicated they responded within one minute of the distress call with units and the SkyKnight helicopter but were unable to apprehend the robber.

The sheriffs stated that the robber is believed to have has committed similar robberies in the area.

An investigation is underway, anyone with information can call the sheriff’s anonymously at 562-860-0044.



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  • Mimi says:

    Doesn’t surprise me one bit. Look at the amount of homeless which sleep 24/7 in the Town Center parking lot. Ck out all of the poop bags left behind in the TC parking lot, this is digusting.

    Examine number of cars stolen/abandoned and dropped off in the back alley against the freeway. Look at all the outdoor lighting under the trees which are breech to not working.

    Whole town center is dying a slow death, it’s nothing compared to the Long Beach Towne Center on the 605 Freeway nor North Long Beach Boeing Town Center in the heart of Long Beach Lakewood. Cerritos Towne Center needs to put more money into ongoing maintenance and security.

    Center needs a Ikea, Bloomingdales & upscale american restaurants, tired of the chinese eateries, which do not attract regional tummines.

    Tired of witnessing homeless bathing in the water fountains.

  • E Rancho Verdes says:

    Hay Mimi:

    Town Center is direct reflections of the poor condition of many immigrants housing neighborhoods found in all sections of the city. Immigrants have just left their homes to ruins, immigrants dont care how they misuse the exterior of their homes.Many of the 90703 streets appear to be slums found in other 3rd world countries.

    Cer TC, look at the growing garbage, fallen dates, abandoned bee hives, broken glass, trash, cow pile diapers in every inch of the mall. Then drive down to the LOng Beach Town Center, area looks like award winning victory park!

    Cerritos supports Trump and Trump said, we have imported from the bottom of the barrel and so so true in this city.

  • let’s use our brains says:

    What an ignorant comment. The fact that Cerritos is comprised of immigrants is what makes the city so great, beautiful, and diverse. If you’re looking for someone to blame for those conditions (which I haven’t seen to the extent that you claim), blame the management that oversees Cerritos TC property. You’re exactly what’s wrong with this country right now.

  • Albert says:

    The comments above are nothing further from the truth and full of xenophobia mentality.

    According to the recent census record, Cerritos’s population include 14.9% white, 7.5% black, 60% Asian, & 13.5% Hispanic or Latino. Median house income is $99,500, and average residential housing price is around $660,000 (some neighborhoods average more than $1M), definitely not imported from the Bottom of the Barrel kind of place as noted. As far as “Many of the 90703 streets appear to be slums found in other 3rd world countries” statement is totally untrue (unless you means that all US cities like the ones in the 3rd world Countries). BTW, I don’t think that Cerritos supports Trump neither.

    The non-Asian restaurants, or the so-called upscale American restaurants, in TC include Wood Ranch, Macaroni Grill, Mimi’s Cafe, French Arte’ Cafe, Islands Burgers, TGI Friday’s. There is no single Chinese eatery and only one Japanese restaurant, Niko Nilo Sushi in TC. On the contrary, many Asian restaurants along the South street have wait lines more than 1 hour. If the restaurant in TC don’t have good business, they should ask themselves why they are not catering to the the local taste.

    TC’s demise is due many reasons that average person might not be able to understand. It could be the management of the City/developer, City’s development agreement with the developer, tax law, e-commerce, etc. One other reason that I can think of is the aging of the population. As the housing price increases, the younger generation (the spenders) could not afford living in the Cerritos anymore and that leaves older folks like us who spend less and eat at home more often.

  • Heritage Park Oldie says:

    Mr. Albert:

    Cerritos boast that it is a Republican City, since Pres. R Reagan era. Todays President who is Republican always is proud to knock at the immigrants, just look at all of the homes which have Trump Yard Signs, which outnumber Biden Yard signs in Cerritos…

    Take the same houseprint and transplant in to another City, and that home will look better in the other Cities, plus sell for more dollars per Sq Ft., compared to Cerritos. Why? BB Bond is punishing sales price, plus buyers want more equal diversified residents & less rules.

    Cerritos is over 30%o rental properties which it’s not helping maintain these old homes because the landlords are absentee. Plus Rental Properties never help a school district , because children don’t stay for the Long Haul. Suggest Mr. Albert, most of the Property Preservation aired is about slums created by landlords/ or renters. I don’t like my city tax money chasing slums, when most home owners are showing pride of ownership. SIMPLE STRAIGHT FORWARD MATH.

    Many young people don’t want to live in the city, if they graduate from ABC, they usually go to another city, just listen to past Council Meeting, they came in volume from other cities to protest. Plus many young families, want nothing to do with the ABCUSD.

    The Long Beach Towne Center and the Cerritos Towne Center are managed by the same company. Most cities do not allow for transit overnight parking, compared to Cerritos TC, which is owned by city, not a private developers.

    Mr. Albert, suggest you go to some of the restaurants IN surrounding cities, it’s hard to get a chicken-steak house in this city of Cerritos or Artesia.

    $1m home is notHing anymore, same house payment as decades ago, today country has cheap interest rates. TC restaurants only make money when the Performing Arts or Sheraton are functioning. $99K annual income will not purchase much of a mortgage.

    Summary Mr. Albert, drive through some of the same neighborhoods by the same developers in Cypress, La Palma, Buena Park, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, and Rossmoor , Seal Beach, West Garden Grove Park, for the most part you will not find as many slum homes as compared to Cerritos. Very very sad Cerritos had to turn out this way. Cerritos is a swell master plan community, and most of the tract-homes were nice, but they need some lipstick to repair wood rot, paint, and replace Brown yards. A rental property or a immigrant home should not Define a neighborhood but it definitely defines homes streetscape in this city and the urge to remove backyard swimming pools, only further defeats areas. TC reflects many homes in the city of Cerritos- and Artesia….no pride of ownership anymore.

  • TJ says:

    Seems like Trader Joe’s section of TC is kept up better compared to the Walmart side. Gosh, CCC/Trustees are to blame w/identification labeling of tribes, they’re always identifying Chinese this, Filipino this/that. Council/commissioners have excluded the rest of the nationalities who share the city as well . Not a TJ shopper, but can hardly wait till Amazon Groceries open, city needs more competition and hate the filth of some of these international groceries stores which have popped up as stand alone units: Artesia-La Palma-Cerritos and E. Lakewood. Exterior of Cerritos WM is disgusting and needs a bath.

    Since when did we vote on a dedicated City of 2 races, like the Cerritos Facebook says it’s ( America Cerritos) but never hear that come out of the mouths of any city council people or the school board?

    Glad I live on a small CDS, mostly orginal. well kept homes, but can appreciate the debates, many homes and streets drive thru, look like Paramount or Norwalk, hence are not the product of resolutions passed by former councils.

    Is it just me, or are their more robberies close to freeways? If today was 1985 all over, would I choose this area to live, prob. not, other cities have weathered time and are really looking great.

  • Albert Chen says:

    Dear Heritage Park Oldie:

    You are wrong in stating Cerritos is a Republican City. Just take a look at the web page linked (https://www.bestplaces.net/voting/zip-code/california/cerritos/90703), you can see Cerritos has voted Democratic for the last 5 presidential elections in the previous 16 years. Also, take a look at the local congressional district this year, there are 2 Democrats running against each other without Republican opponent. SAD!

    Regarding your statement that Cerritos is more than 30% rental. I don’t know where it is coming from, but it totally does not make financial sense. With an average house priced at $660,000, and average rent for a 3-bed room house at around $3,000, who would want to own a rental house in Cerritos. In other locations, for example Pomona, one can get a much higher return on investment.

    As far as not be able to get a chicken fried steak in Cerritos, it is probably because it is out of fashion due to health concern. Even though I like Chicken fried steak also, I haven’t had it for 30 years since I moved from Texas. It is too greasy, bad for the heart. Cerritos’s population is probably more health conscientious, more hip than the southern rednecks(joke).

    I have lived in Cerritos for more than 30 years, and have visited all the surrounding cities mentioned by you many times. I am stilling willing to pay the $200K +/- premium for housing in Cerritos. I like ABCSD also, and my daughter graduated from Whitney High, which ranks #3 in California and #30 in US.

  • Albert says:

    Mr. Heritage Park Oldie:
    The discussion was originally on the armed robbery happened in Cerritos, but unfortunately it turns political and immigrant bashing. But let’s go over your points in your posting to get the facts out:

    1. Cerritos is a Republican City. This simply is not true. Just check the web site https://www.bestplaces.net/voting/zip-code/california/cerritos/90703, you can see that Cerritos has been voting Democratic for the last 5 presidential elections since 16 years ago. This year, the local congressional district has 2 Democratic candidates competing with each other. No republican is even dare to challenge, SAD!

    2. Cerritos is more than 30% rental. This is a bogus claim. Rental home in Cerritos is about 23%, less than the surrounding cities, e.g., Lakewood is 26%, La Palma is 30%, Long Beach is 48%, Hawaiian Gardens is 60%, Bellflowers is more than 70%.

    3. Most of the young people don’t want to live in the City. If they graduate from ABCSD, they usually go to other cities. Most of the ABCSD graduates, at least all the ones that I know of, don’t go to the workplace directly, they go to colleges, and then work at whichever cities that they find the jobs when they graduate. There is no denying that the City has been growing old, but it is probably because its housing price is higher than the surrounding cities with $100K to $200K premium or higher so the younger people (also the spenders) move to some other more affordable places.

    4. Cannot find a chicken-steak restaurant (or you mean chicken-fried steak?). Agree that you might not be able to find a restaurant serving chicken-fried steaks, but there are several places that serve steaks. e.g., Rucille’s smokehouse BBQ on South Street, Mimi’s Cafe & Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill in TC, etc. I would discourage the chicken-fried steak because it is bad for your heart. I would also recommend that you try something new, like Korean BBQ, you might find that you actually like it.

    5. Now back to the real issue, Trader Joe’s robbery. I think that it has more to do with that it is close to a highway entrance for the robber to escape. The fact that it is usually full of costumers during the day, and probably has a lot of cash before closing is also a good reason. It is not because of that it is a shady grocery in a run-down shopping center used by immigrants. Don’t hold your breath for Wholefood in TC neither.
    Their planning department survey probably will show that Cerritos’s customer profile (bunch of cost conscious shoppers) will not suit for a wholefood store.

  • S&S says:

    Mr Albert

    Can LCCN call 911 for you now. ?

    Do you ever watched the Planning Commission, City council or Property Preservation Commission all of this is discussed openly and video for the convenience of the world to view free, Plus archived on the Cerritos website , think going back to the early 2000s. ? If you want info before 2000s, make a free public records request and you can get the information sent to you via email, going back almost the birth of the city or the school district. I’ve heard that some of the old records from the school district have been purged, don’t know what was purchased and what was not.

    Real rental numbers now are 35 to 37% which is being televised from the city, plus we have unknown new creeping stats, vacant homes, only used for a 401K investors.

    Today LP is having their 65th Anniversary, so maybe you should attend and learn about history of the greater Dairy Valley, since you lived here 30 yrs.

    Amazon groceries is coming into the former Toys R Us on South Street, east 605 Freeway. Shhh, heard there’s another new grocery store , possibly coming into the northern part of Cerritos , where there is a vacant grocery store, not been confirmed yet.

    Nixon Birthplace museum, tagged Cerritos for Republican and most elected CCC are ( R) . Ditto in YL too, museum attracts (R )

    Regarding ABC, it has fallen from Grace. GPA has drastically fallen too. When it was mandated that the state divide school district into districts, each City in the district, can have students attend Whitney, so it is not a prime school anymore. With covid-19 I don’t know if that’s campus will be able to open up, and that’s coming directly from the trustees+ VP principal Campus has many state violations citations on file too.

    About 10- 15 years ago, some schools in Northern California far surpassed Whitney, and getting many more students into universities directly plus a lot of people left Cerritos for Yorba Linda, because Yorba Linda has a higher number having been accepted in to universities. Usually Patch.com does a certified spread sheet comparing Whitney to statewide system. It is a cat-and-mouse game, one school wins for a while then another school falls from Grace. just in my neighborhood most of the students attended Whitney for a short time, vacated the campus for more normal setting for their students !!! I have read, unknown the statistics but Rossmoor / Manhattan Beach now have much higher GPA point compared to ABC.

    Rental properties make excellent cents, bought by Foreign investors. They’re occupied usually by Foreign renters, Complete Cash Cow, no income tax, and then their investment, when they go to sell possibly is tax-free, proceeds money goes out of the country. Look at all the apartments we have in Cerritos, those are all rentals. City has only (lot) premiums, not premiums for the for sale homes. Again, you are comparing total sale price, not sale price per sq ft, which is what really accounts by appraisers.

    City has no restaurants for chicken or poultry. NO restaurants compared to Morton’s Steakhouse or Lawry’s Steakhouse specializes in Prime Beef prime rib/ steaks. Only two close by restaurants Steakhouse are Del Rae and Summit House, were some of the CCC have eaten there. Many down in Long Beach also, mainly by ports.

    Editorial this is not about immigrant bashing. Every property owner who invested in the city originally, all were protected under umbrella of resolutions, so their property can be maintained in a human /dignified manner. Investors in 1960s –forward, did not purchase homes in the city to look out against paint ruined homes, cars parked on the lawn, 500 pots lining the FB, Brown-dead yards, boxes all over the entryway, dead-timber fire box backyards, chicken sideyard coops, crop farming landscapes, swimming pools illegally filled in, dead parkways, no outdoor security lighting and Etc.

    This editorial is about packing the house, which is been going on for decades, so this yellow box can be taken over by first-time immigrants, and makes it a Prime area for many robberies, way over the average compared to other cities. LAUSD states many precautions to warrant off home invasion and burglaries, but still immigrants will not participate and then cry about a broken system. City puts out data map on exact robberies, mostly dirty homes which are rentals; making prime candidates for robberies. TJ and TC needs more in houses- security and gate houses for max. security, or it too will close.

    In my S&S Tract, Cerritos one story sells for $700-$800K, exact same S&S in Seal Beach sells for $1.25M-$1.5M, better schools, cleaner streets of homes and no restrictions via resolutions. In Long Beach, my same home sells for around $1m, they are 1200 Sq Ft 1 story homes from early 1970’s., mostly Jewish.Cerritos sales are in tank, when compared same home to regional sales quantitative facts.


  • Data says:

    This is very serious data and not in favor of Cerritos

    These are not good numbers. This is the average sold price per square foot for 2020 in the following cities: Cerritos came in below Rossmoor, but the other two cities are getting very close to Cerritos. Cerritos used to be way out in front, and now we’re loosing dollars. LP is the cheapest of the data from the 4 cities and the homes in LP sure are cleaner compared to Cerritos. Spread of $150 is not good for investors in Cerritos. Data came from tax assessors rolls.

    Rossmoor $558 square foot

    Cerritos $449 square foot

    Cypress $436 square foot

    La Palma $402 a square foot

  • Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time
    and actual effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get anything done.