California man sentenced for 21 Trader Joe’s robberies

January 3, 2022 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gunman who robbed or tried to rob 21 Trader Joe’s grocery stores throughout Southern California was sentenced Monday to 21 years in federal prison.

Gregory Johnson, 44, of Huntington Park was sentenced in Los Angeles for the holdups that were committed between Aug. 28 and Dec. 4 of 2020 in Los Angeles and Orange counties and the attempted robberies of two stores in Ventura and Riverside counties, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.

Johnson and his son, Gregory Eric Johnson, 20, of South Los Angeles, were arrested after a witness provided a decription of the getaway car and its license plate, authorities said.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors said “the violent, terroristic nature” of the robberies “have a lasting impact of emotional trauma on the victims.”

Prosecutors said Johnson had a long criminal history that included a 2000 conviction and a 12-year sentence for robbing another Trader Joe’s, and at the time of the 2020 holdups he was on probation for other crimes.

Johnson pleaded guilty last May to robbery and brandishing a firearm during a violent crime.

His son pleaded guilty in March to robbing several stores and was sentenced last month to two years in federal prison.