Suspect in 2004 Brink’s guard murder identified
Investigation ties suspect to high-profile robbery-murder case
Riverside, Ca- Riverside Police Department investigators have concluded that Ronald Patrick HOFFMAN, 37, robbed a Riverside Food 4 Less store and murdered a Brink’s armored car guard in Riverside on January 8, 2004. Hoffman died after an officer-involved shooting by Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies in Mira Loma on July 25, 2006, following reports of brandishing a gun and a short car chase.
The conclusion of the investigation closes one of the city’s highest profile unsolved cases, which was featured on May 1, 2004 episode of the “America’s Most Wanted” television show and included a $100,000 reward offer by Brink’s Inc.
Brink’s Armored Car Security guard Corey Medlock had just entered the Food 4 Less grocery store at 4250 Van Buren Blvd., to make a cash delivery at about 10:33 a.m. on January 8, 2004, when an unknown, disguised male approached him from behind and shot Medlock once in the head. The suspect then grabbed the moneybag, fled through an alternate exit and drove off in a waiting red Ford Taurus.
Armored car guard Medlock, 28, of San Bernardino, died the following day at Riverside Community Hospital. Medlock had been a Brink’s employee for seven years. Based on available evidence, the murder weapon was believed to be a .38 caliber revolver, which was never recovered. The theft was approximately $3,000.
The suspect was described by witnesses, and was captured on store video images, as heavy set with a baseball hat, long dark wig, sunglasses, goatee and mustache and wearing a heavy ski-type jacket. He also appeared to run with a limp.
At about 2:30 p.m. on the day of the murder, an unreported stolen red 2002 Ford Taurus was found abandoned at a medical office in the 3900-block Van Buren Blvd. The car was identified by witnesses as the getaway vehicle. A scent trail followed by a Riverside County Sheriff’s scent dog led from the car back in the direction of the grocery store but ended abruptly near an apartment building in the 4100-block Van Buren, which was roughly halfway between the store and the medical building. It appeared the suspect may have gotten into a second vehicle and drove away.
Detectives followed up on hundreds of leads generated by news of incident, followed by the reward and the national television show, without solid results.
On July 25, 2006, on a completely unrelated incident, Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Mira Loma when customers at a store reported a suspect threatening them with a gun. After leading deputies on a short car chase, the suspect, later identified as Hoffman, was involved in the fatal shooting incident with a deputy.
During the subsequent Riverside County Sheriff’s investigation, RSO personnel found among Hoffman’s possessions in his bedroom, a collection of all the news clippings and a wanted poster pertaining to the 2004 Brink’s robbery and murder. RSO immediately notified Riverside Police Homicide Detective Rick Cobb. A computer check revealed Hoffman’s address at the time of the murder was an apartment at the Van Buren address, between the store and the medical office, and where the previous scent trail had been lost.
Interviews with various witnesses revealed Hoffman had a serious leg injury, and wore a mustache and goatee, at the time of the crime. He had talked about the crime, in theoretical terms, with a neighbor on the day, saying, among other things, that he had studied armored cars. Hoffman was a frequent shopper at the Food 4 Less store.
On September 14, 2006, in conjunction with a specially-trained scent dog team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect scent collected from the 2004 getaway vehicle was matched in a multi-sample test to a scent sample obtained from Hoffman’s shoes flowing his death.
Review of the case evidence determined that the deceased Ronald Patrick Hoffman was the suspect who robbed and killed Brink’s guard Corey Medlock in 2004.
Through outstanding sustained investigation by Riverside Police, significant public involvement and the crucial connection made by the Riverside County Sheriff’s investigators, this case is now closed.
The victim: Brink’s guard Corey Medlock, 28
The suspect: Ronald Patrick Hoffman, 37