Riverside County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that a man carrying a weapon robbed the Mountain Top Liquor store, at 26005 Highway 243 in Idyllwild, around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26.
The robber, described as 6 ft., 180 pounds, wearing a long tan coat, brown t-shirt, blue jeans with a red scarf and red bandana covering his face, entered the business late Sunday night, brandished a weapon and demanded money. The suspect fled on foot with an unspecified amount of money before deputies arrived. No employees were injured during the incident and the investigation is ongoing according to the Sheriff’s report.
Richard Lengyel, clerk on duty at the time of the incident, said the robber was not nervous, seemed sure of himself and apparently knew how to handle the large caliber pistol he used in the robbery. Lengyel said he was behind the counter leaning in to catch a replay of part of the Oscars when he heard something drop behind the counter. He turned around to see the robber about two feet away with the gun pointed at his face. What he had dropped was a black gym bag with red piping. “Empty the f**king cash register, put it in the bag. I ain’t f**king kidding and I’m in a f**king hurry,” Lengyel recounted the robber saying. “He wasn’t shaking,” said Lengyel. “I was looking right at him.” Lengyel said the robber’s head was covered, face completely masked and he had on gloves. Lengyel said he did not recognize the robber's voice since the heavy masking muffled the sound. “I watched him go up toward the Fort. He disappeared behind the Fort. Maybe he had a car parked there.”
Lengyel called 911 after the robber left. A deputy was at Paradise Corners and was there within 20 minutes, said Lengyel.
“I’ve been here 22 years and we’ve never been robbed,” said owner Dean Muhyieddeen.
Anyone with information about this incident, or possible identification of the robber, should call Hemet Station (951) 791-3400.
This is the latest incident in an escalation of criminal activity in the Idyllwild area.