SANTA ANA, Calif. --Santa Ana police arrested a man they say engaged in a string of robberies at stores across Orange County, sometimes bringing his kids along on his alleged heists.
Surveillance video shows the suspect lifting up his shirt and flashing a gun to an employee at a Marshall's in Santa Ana, police said.
After speaking to loss prevention officers at stores like Marshall's, TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, a Santa Ana detective linked the suspect to several shoplifting crimes across Orange County.
Each time he went for high-end purses and cologne and often flashed a gun.
After matching surveillance video and crime trends, they identified the suspect as Hector Ibarra, 29, arrested him and served a search warrant at his home.
There they say they found thousands of dollars worth of purses, children's clothes and gift cards. They say they also found heroin and replica guns they believe were used in the robberies.
Police say Ibarra has a long criminal history and is now linked to at least 18 more felony cases across the county, including assault with a deadly weapon.
"He's a very violent individual. Often he takes his kids with him on these excursions," said Corporal Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department.
Ibarra is being held on $300,000 bail. He is due to make his first court appearance Thursday.