Marine arrested in liquor store robbery
By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Jun 26, 2007 18:23:40 EDT

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Local police arrested a Marine who allegedly tried to rob a liquor store with a handgun over the weekend, a police spokesman said.

Police arrested Lance Cpl. McKenzie Smith, 20, in connection with the holdup, Sgt. Leonard Mata, an Oceanside Police Department spokesman, said Tuesday.

During the June 23 robbery, a masked man with a handgun tried to rob Big Liquor, located in a small strip mall in a residential neighborhood near Camp Pendleton’s southern gate. According to store video footage aired on local television stations, one of the store clerks lunged and grabbed at the gunman’s weapon. Another clerk grabbed another gun and fired at the gunman, who ran from the store.

Smith was found collapsed and injured nearby, police said. Mata, citing patient confidentiality laws, would not say which hospital Smith is being treated at or what wounds he sustained.

“He will probably be arraigned in the hospital,” Mata said. “He’s under arrest.”

Oceanside has seen a spate of more than a half-dozen armed robberies in the past month, including a June 9 holdup of the same Big Liquor store. Other businesses hit by robbers include a gas station and a 7-Eleven store.

Police were still investigating those cases. As of midday Tuesday, Smith “has not been charged with those,” Mata said.