A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the robbery and pistol-whipping of a Hercules cellphone merchant, police said.
Authorities also suspect the teen, a Hercules resident, and an accomplice later committed two similar robberies in El Sobrante and Tara Hills.
Hercules police arrested the boy at his home Wednesday morning. They searched the house and found a revolver -- believed to have been used by the robbers -- in his bedroom.
He was booked into juvenile hall; his name is being withheld because he is a minor. His accomplice is still being sought.
Police say the two confronted the 28-year-old owner of a Metro PCS at the Creekside Shopping Center on Sycamore Avenue as he got into his car the evening of March 14. They pulled the revolver on him, and when he tried to push the gun away, the robbers punched and pistol-whipped him.
The victim threw a substantial amount of cash -- about $8,000 -- over the roof of his car and ran. It could have been much worse, police said: One of the suspects pointed the gun at the fleeing merchant and twice pulled the trigger, but it misfired.
The duo fled before police arrived, but they apparently struck again later that night. Detectives from the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office believe the same pair robbed the Food Stop in the 3800 block of San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante, where they stole cash and liquor.
While deputies rushed to that call, another holdup was reported
Anyone with information can contact Hercules police Detective Robert Pesmark at 510-799-8223 or Sheriff's detectives at 925-313-2600.
Robert Salonga covers public safety. Contact him at 925-943-8013. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.