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Trader Joe’s Robberies in Southern California

April 22, 2021

Fred Thiagarajah

On April 18, 2021, a federal grand jury named 43-year-old Gregory Johnson in a 21-count indictment. Johnson is accused of robbing 15 Trader Joe’s franchise stores in Southern California over a 3-month period. He is charged with 15 counts of interference with commerce by robbery, one count of possessing a firearm while a felon, and 5 counts of using and possessing a firearm in a violent crime. On February 8th, Johnson was charged with two counts relating to a robbery of a Trader Joe’s store in December of 2020. These extra indictments added on the 18th, totaling 19, make this a 21-count indictment. Johnson was accused of using a handgun during many of the robberies and sometimes went back to stores for repeat robberies. Johnson and his son, Gregory Eric Johnson, were arrested on December 4, 2020, after a witness gave a description of his vehicle and license plate number after he had robbed a Trader Joe’s in Chino Hills. Additionally, Johnson pleads guilty to the two counts relating to the robbery in December of 2020 and he is facing the maximum sentence. The statutory maximum sentence in Johnson’s case is 40 years in federal prison which he is facing at his next sentencing hearing in July of 2021 for the two counts relating to the December robbery. Furthermore, Johnson faces a sentence of 7 years in prison for each use of firearms charge, 10 years in prison for being in possession of a firearm while a felon, and 20 years in federal prison for each robbery charge he is facing.

The definition of robbery in California is the felonious taking of property in possession of another against his will with means of force or fear. There are two types of robbery and those include first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery. First-degree robberies have a maximum penalty of six years in state prison while second-degree robberies carry a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. Robbery crimes have many serious consequences including criminal penalties. However, it can also prevent people from finding a job because robbery crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude. This can lead to difficulty in getting jobs or keeping jobs and the individual risks professional licensing when charged with a crime such as a robbery. If an individual is ever facing a robbery charge, it is important to make the right choice about their case and that requires the right lawyer.

To learn more about the robbery or other theft crimes in general, refer to our website by clicking here to gain valuable information on the kinds of robbery, the consequences of such a charge, and what to do when facing a robbery charge.


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