3 teens arrested after armed robbery, chase in Contra Costa County

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- Authorities say three teens are in custody after allegedly robbing an Arco gas station in Moraga at gunpoint, and then leading police on a 30-mile chase to Antioch.

The Arco owner, Nick Ghassam, says his employee described the three teens as a female with a gun, and two young men, one who had a knife.

"They put the knife (on) his chest and (pointed) the gun to his head. And they told him to give them all his money," says Ghassam.

He says just after 8 p.m. on Sunday, the three suspects came into the gas station on Moraga Road wearing masks, robbed his employee and then drove off with $600 in cash.

"They took the register, the whole register!" says Ghassam.

The employee, who was not injured, immediately called police after the three teens fled. Moraga police shared the suspects' description, who were then spotted by Lafayette police. A police chase followed through several East Bay freeways, eventually joined by Pittsburg police and Contra Costa County sheriff deputies. The chase, which began on Highway 24, ended when the alleged suspects crashed their black car off of Highway 4 near Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch.

"It's very surprising. It's a very safe neighborhood," says Lizzy Luskey.

It's not the news she expected to wake up to on this holiday weekend. She says what puzzles her, is why anyone would rob a gas station up in the hills and miles from the freeway.

"Moraga is kind of behind Lafayette and Orinda, and doesn't have the same freeway access that more of the cities closer to the freeway have, so it's surprising," says Luskey.

The store owner says he is not worried about the money that was stolen. He was more concerned with the safety of his employee, just happy that he was not shot or stabbed.

Ghassam says this is the second time his gas station has been robbed, despite there being several other gas station on the same road. He says he wants to work with police to try and figure out why his store keeps getting hit.
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