By joe gorman
Police working in unmarked cars took two guns on the North Side late Tuesday while searching for two robbers who committed three armed robberies late Saturday and early Sunday.
In both cases, officers tried to make contact with people who were walking in the middle of the street, which is against city ordinances and is an offense for which someone can be cited. Chief Rod Foley recovered one of those two guns.
Also, a man on Goleta Avenue reported three men tried to rob him when he was outside his home late Tuesday, but he managed to chase them off.
Foley said detectives have suspects and that he is running extra patrols of both marked and unmarked cars in the area.
About 10:12 p.m., two officers in an unmarked car spotted Andrew Whitlow, 26, in the street on Norwood Avenue near Ford Avenue, walking and holding his waistband like he had a gun, reports said.
The officers pulled up to Whitlow and he took a gun out of his waistband, which caused the officers to pull their guns and order Whitlow to the ground. After a search, they found a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a plastic container that had a large bag of marijuana inside and a scale. Whitlow was jailed on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, trafficking in marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Foley also was in an unmarked car when he saw another male who looked to be a teenager walking in the street at Fifth and Crandall avenues about 10:30 p.m. Foley wrote in a report that when the person saw him, he tried to walk away. Foley put on his car lights and got out of the car and asked the person to see him, but instead the person took off running on Ford Avenue.
The person ran into a vacant lot in the 300 block of Alameda Avenue, fell down, got back up and ran away. Foley wasn’t able to catch him, but he found a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun, a baseball cap and a cellphone where the person fell, reports said.
About the same time, a 49-year-old man in the 1800 block of Alameda Avenue said he had just arrived home when he saw three men standing in his driveway, all dressed in black and all with their faces covered. The man told police one of them had a gun, but the man yelled at the three to leave him alone and they walked away, got to the end of the street, looked at him and turned around, but then ran away at the sound of sirens, reports said.
In the robberies over the weekend, witnesses described the robbers as two young-looking males dressed in black clothing, and one of them had a gun.