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'Apologetic Bandit' Charged with 3 Holdups, but Officials Suspect More

Farhad Sharifi of Aliso Viejo was arrested Friday in Lake Forest and is alleged to have robbed convenience stores and gas stations throughout South Orange County.

Farhad Sharifi, 19, Aliso Viejo, was booked on suspicion of committing numerous robberies over the course of the last 12-14 month. Booking photo courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Farhad Sharifi, 19, Aliso Viejo, was booked on suspicion of committing numerous robberies over the course of the last 12-14 month. Booking photo courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The suspected “Apologetic Bandit” was charged today with three holdups, but investigators hope to link the 19-year-old Aliso Viejo resident to at least seven additional heists over the past year.

Farhad Sharifi, who is being held without bail pending arraignment on Feb. 19, is charged with three counts of second-degree robbery for stickups last Friday, on Dec. 28 and on Nov. 12.

Orange County sheriff's investigators suspect that Sharifi robbed seven other convenience stores and gas stations, Lt. Jeff Hallock said, but prosecutors asked deputies for more evidence before deciding whether to bring additional charges.

“We will review any additional evidence as it becomes available and determine, based on that evidence, if additional charges are appropriate,” said Farrah Emami of the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Sharifi was arrested Friday after a 3 a.m. holdup at a 7-Eleven at 24386 Muirlands Blvd. in Lake Forest. Deputies followed a suspect vehicle to Rockfield Boulevard and El Toro Road, where Sharifi was arrested in a foot chase, said Gail Krause of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies recovered a replica handgun and a mask allegedly used during the robberies, Krause said.

Investigators dubbed the suspect the Apologetic Bandit because of his penchant for saying he was sorry during stickups, Hallock said.

--City News Service

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