A couple from Connecticut has been arrested and charged with federal offenses after they allegedly committed armed robberies at multiple gas stations last month.
Federal officials said 34-year-old William Rosario Lopez, of New Haven, and 19-year-old Solimar Rodriguez Gonzalez, of New Britain, were arrested on Thursday.
Lopez and Gonzalez were both presented in court via video conference, officials said. Lopez remains detained and Gonzalez was released on bond.
According to court documents, the first armed robbery was on March 18, 2020, at the Shell Gas Station in Vernon. Lopez entered the gas station wearing a black mask. He pointed a silver pistol at the employee and grabbed him by the collar while directing him to walk to the cash register. While they were walking, Lopez hit the employee in the back of the head. The employee opened the cash register and gave Lopez approximately $1,188 and Lopez fled the store.
A few days later, court documents said Lopez committed the second and third armed robberies.
Lopez first entered the Fleet Gas Station in Southington on March 22, 2020 around 10 p.m. Court documents said Lopez was wearing a mask and pointed a silver pistol at the store employee while demanding money. After the employee gave Lopez approximately $200, Lopez demanded more. The employee then explained all of the money was in the safe and he did not know the combination so Lopez kicked him and fled.
Approximately one hour after the armed robbery in Southington, authorities said Lopez entered the Shell Gas Station in Waterbury. Officials said Lopez wore a mask and pointed a gun at the store employee while demanding money. The employee opened the cash register, gave Lopez approximately $500 and Lopez fled.
On March 23, 2020, less than two hours after the Waterbury robbery, authorities said Rosario committed an armed robbery at a Shell Gas Station in Ansonia.
In this armed robbery, officials said Lopez wore a surgical-type mask, pointed a small gun at the employee, demanded money and threatened to shoot him or her. After the employee could not open the cash register quickly, Lopez fired one shot toward the employee and fled. Investigators said the employee was not hit by the bullet.
A few days later, authorities said Lopez committed a fifth armed robbery. On March 26, 2020, Lopez entered the Citgo Gas Station in New Britain wearing a mask. Authorities said Lopez waited for another customer to leave the store, approached the counter, pointed a small gun at the store employee and demanded money. The employee opened the cash register and Lopez took approximately $250 before fleeing the store.
Investigators said Gonzalez acted as a lookout in at least two of the robberies and she is depicted on store video surveillance before the robberies in Vernon and Waterbury.
Officials said investigators searched a vehicle used by Lopez and Gonzalez during the alleged robberies and found a silver .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol and 14 rounds of ammunition.
Lopez's criminal history also includes convictions in New York for attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He also has convictions in Puerto Rico for importation and unlawful possession of a firearm, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, threatening a witness and aggravated robbery, according to authorities.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Connecticut State Police, Vernon Police, Southington Police, Waterbury Police, Ansonia Police, New Britain Police, New Haven Police and Guilford Police.