Man who robbed Trader Joe’s in OC, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, South Bay and IE to be sentenced

A Huntington Park man who admitted carrying out more than a dozen armed robberies or attempted armed robberies of Trader Joe’s markets in Los Angeles and Orange counties — and enlisted his son as getaway driver in two of the heists — faces a stretch in federal prison when he is sentenced Monday.

Gregory Johnson, 43, pleaded guilty in May to federal counts of interference of commerce by robbery and using a firearm in a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He faces between seven years and life in federal prison.

The defendant admitted that during a four-month crime spree starting in August 2020, he robbed Trader Joe’s stores in Eagle Rock, Sherman Oaks, Chatsworth, Pasadena, Culver City, Rancho Palos Verdes, Agoura Hills, Brea, Santa Ana, Tustin and Chino Hills, and attempted to rob locations in Simi Valley and Corona.

During many of the robberies, Johnson brandished a handgun. On two occasions, he robbed stores in Rancho Palos Verdes and Brea — and returned weeks later to rob them again.

Johnson and his 21-year-old son, Gregory E. Johnson, were arrested following the Chino Hills robbery on Dec. 4, 2020, after a witness gave authorities a description of their getaway vehicle and license plate.

The younger Johnson pleaded guilty to driving the getaway car in the Chino Hills and Chatsworth robberies and was sentenced last month in Los Angeles federal court to two years behind bars.

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