UPDATE (10:45 a.m. February 11): According to Sgt. Ryburn, astute police work by a patrol officer led to catching suspect Joshua Boston in the act at the second gas station robbery; the officer realized the Fake Beard Bandit had hit the same gas station at 439 W. Alameda again and went to the other location of a previous Fake Beard Bandit robbery, catching the suspect as he left the scene at 2501 W. Olive Avenue.
According to Ryburn, the officer witnessed the suspect get into the driver’s side of a running dark gray vehicle and got a partial license plate. Some evidence was left at the second scene. Forensics specialists and investigators worked through the night to determine Boston as the suspected Fake Beard Bandit. Detectives went to his residence at 231 W. Tujunga with arrest and search warrants and were able to arrest Boston without incident Monday afternoon.
Burbank Police are working with the FBI and surrounding law enforcement agencies to determine if Boston and the Fake Beard Bandit are connected to other armed robberies. Boston is due in court Wednesday, February 12. It is the policy of the Burbank Police Department to not release booking photos, except for special circumstances.
After two more reportedly armed robberies on Sunday evening, February 9, Joshua Boston, age 24 and a Burbank resident, was arrested by Burbank Police on Monday February 10 at approximately 3:20 p.m. Boston, also called the Fake Beard Bandit, is suspected of committing six robberies or attempted robberies of Burbank businesses since January 5.
Around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, Boston allegedly robbed the Chevron gas station at Main St. and Alameda Avenue, which had been robbed by the Fake Beard Bandit a few weeks previously. While police investigated the scene, the suspect allegedly drove to the Chevron at Buena Vista St. and Olive Avenue and attempted to rob that gas station.
“A patrol officer contacted a suspect during the commission of an attempted robbery at the Chevron gas station located at Olive Avenue and Buena Vista Street,” commented Sgt. Darin Ryburn of the Burbank Police Department. “When confronted by the officer, the suspect fled to a running vehicle he had left in the area. Burbank Police investigators and forensic specialists responded to the scene and worked throughout the night.”
The police investigation identified Boston as a suspect in this string of robberies and obtained a warrant for his arrest as well as a search warrant for his residence. In many of the alleged armed robberies, the suspect wore an obviously fake, thick, full dark beard several inches in length.
While there were no reported injuries related to these incidents, the suspect was reported to have brandished or threatened the clerk with a weapon, added Ryburn. Based on the description provided by victims and witnesses, the same suspect was believed to have been responsible for these crimes.
When Burbank Police located the suspect’s residence, he appeared to not be home but the department used resources to determine Boston remained in the area. When Boston returned to his home on Monday afternoon, February 10, officers took him into custody. Boston was booked at the Burbank Jail and his bail is set at $1,000,000.
Photographer Ross A. Benson contributed to this report.