Crime - Sacto 911

Oakland trio arrested for pepper-spraying, robbing delivery driver of cigarettes, Auburn police say

Sydney Burke
Sydney Burke Auburn Police Department

An Oakland trio remained behind bars at the Placer County jail Wednesday after they pepper-sprayed a truck driver at an Auburn convenience store and robbed him of thousands of dollars' worth of cigarettes, according to an Auburn Police news release and police radio.

Marquis Lewis and Marquis Bell, both 22, as well as Sydney Burke, 23, were arrested in connection with the robbery Tuesday, after allegedly leading police and Placer County sheriff's deputies on a car chase that passed through Loomis and ended in Rocklin.

Police were searching Wednesday for a fourth suspect in the heist.

The robbery took place at 650 Auburn Folsom Road, the location of a small shopping center in Auburn, shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to police radio of the incident archived on the site Broadcastify. The truck driver was transporting bulk boxes of cigarettes to the store, police said.

"It sounds like the (reporting party) was pepper-sprayed and shoved over," a dispatcher initially reports.

A few minutes later, someone else, possibly a police officer, reported that two males were involved in the robbery and "took a box of merchandise." They drove off in a black Honda Pilot, he said.

A car matching the description given to police was spotted by an Auburn detective sometime later, according to the press release. The detective, with the help of a Placer County Sheriff's Office, stopped the car at Horseshoe Bar Road in Loomis.

During the stop, officers saw one person flee from the car. The suspect, later identified as Lewis, was taken into custody in the area. Meanwhile, the other suspects drove away from the scene, police said.

Police again followed the car until they reached the Rocklin city limits, police said. The driver stopped the car at San Francisco and Oak streets and the remaining suspects fled on foot. Both Bell and Burke were arrested nearby.

Placer County jail inmate logs show Lewis is being held in custody in lieu of $185,000 bail on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy to commit a crime, being an addict in possession of narcotics and resisting arrest. The police news release lists an additional count of discharging tear gas, though that does not appear online.

Both Bell and Burke are also being held on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime. Bell is additionally suspected of a felony parole violation.

The Auburn Police Department asks anyone with information about the incident to call 530-823-4234. Lead detective Carlos Castaner can be reached at 530-823-4237, extension 238.