LAKE ELSINORE: Charges to be filed in liquor store robberies

LAKE ELSINORE – Felony charges are expected to be filed Wednesday against 18- and 20-year-olds suspected in back-to-back robberies targeting liquor stores in Lake Elsinore.

Cory Joseph Hopp, 18, and Matthew Gilbert Rochin, 20, both of Lake Elsinore, were arrested Sunday on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy. Rochin was additionally arrested for alleged assault with a deadly weapon.

Each suspect is being held in lieu of $60,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

Their alleged accomplice, 21-year-old Efrin Morales, who was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory, posted a $10,000 bond and was released from jail a few hours after he was taken into custody.

According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Donivan, about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Hopp and Rochin allegedly snatched several bottles of alcohol from a 7-Eleven at 515 N. Main St. and bolted out of the store without paying.

Donivan alleged that when a clerk tried to physically stop the pair, Rochin allegedly deployed a metal baton and took a swing at the man, who was not hit.

As deputies were responding to the first robbery, the suspects allegedly went into an AM/PM convenience store at 29355 Central Ave. and again grabbed liquor bottles, then headed for the exit, according to Donivan.

The clerk managed to block Rochin, and the two scuffled as Hopp fled the location, Donivan said.

Deputies rolled up moments later and arrested Rochin without further incident. Patrol units also located Hopp and Morales at the intersection of Central and Dexter avenues, where both were taken into custody.

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