LOS ANGELES – Three gang members have been arrested on federal charges alleging armed robbery in the crowded outdoor dining room of a Beverly Hills restaurant in which a customer was held at gunpoint , another was hit by a bullet and a $ 500,000 watch was taken, authorities said Wednesday.
The complaint, released Tuesday, accuses residents of South Los Angeles – Malik L. Powell, 20; Khai “Cameron Smith” McGhee, 18; and Marquise A. Gardon, 30 – on one count of conspiracy to obstruct the business by robbery, according to the US attorney’s office.
The documented gang members were arrested on Tuesday and were scheduled to appear for the first time Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles, officials said.
At approximately 2:10 p.m. on March 4, officers were called to Il Pastaio, a celebrity hangout in Brighton Way and North Canon Drive, over a report of a theft with bullets, and arrived to find a woman who had been shot.
The victim, who was not the intended target, was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to a spokesperson for the Beverly Hills Police Department.
During the theft, a restaurant customer was detained at gunpoint when his Richard Mille wristwatch was stolen, valued at approximately $ 500,000, according to a criminal complaint filed with a federal court.
A fight for the weapon ensues, in which two shots are fired from the gun, striking the woman in the leg. The handgun was dropped during the scuffle and the thieves fled with the victim’s watch, according to the complaint.
Based on a review of CCTV footage and witness statements, five people are believed to be involved in the flight crew, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint.
Law enforcement officials identified Powell and McGhee as two of the three thieves, and Gardon was identified as the driver of the crew’s getaway car, according to the affidavit.
Powell’s car – a black BMW – was reportedly used to bring the crew to and from the flight, and his cell phone was reportedly present near Il Pastaio at the time of the theft. Powell’s social media accounts reportedly contained images of various high-value guns and wristwatches.
McGhee’s DNA was found on the clothes of the robbery victim as a result of the gun fight, according to the affidavit. Surveillance footage reportedly showed Gardon exiting the rear passenger seat and sitting in the driver’s seat of the getaway car just before the theft, and his cell phone was reportedly present near the restaurant at the time of the theft.
Officials also said surveillance footage showed the men surveying the area before the flight.
If found guilty, the accused each face up to 20 years in federal prison.