On Wednesday, June 18, the Orange County Sheriff announced that 5 men were arrested in connection to a rash of approximately 40 violent crimes that started in December of 2013. The crime spree had spread over nearly seven months and had included armed holdups of pharmacies, hotels, and stores.
For the months leading up to the arrests, detectives were working with surveillance and DNA collection to catch the defendants. With the arrest of the men, three groups of robbers were taken down, which is considered a victory for the Sherriff's Office. One of the groups was named the "Boonie Hat Gang" for the hats the three men wore; they are accused of holdups involving hotels and CVS stores. One of the men in that group has also been accused of a homicide involving a 20-year-old man in an unrelated crime. Another one of the groups is accused of holdups involving 10 CVS stores; one of the men in this group is accused of firing at deputies. The third group consisted of a single man who held up a Dollar Store and a CVS.
According to the Sheriff, however, the three different groups did not know each other and were not acting in coordination. Still, the local detectives have warned that there could be others who attempt to pull of what is deemed "copy-cat crimes" in an attempt to cash in on the fame now surrounding these five individuals.