THREE SAN DIEGO GANG MEMBERS CONVICTED OF CRIME SPREE ROBBERIES IN TWO ORANGE COUNTY JEWELRY STORES


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case #  09ZF0073


 



January 10, 2012

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

THREE SAN DIEGO GANG MEMBERS CONVICTED OF CRIME SPREE ROBBERIES IN TWO ORANGE COUNTY JEWELRY STORES
*Eight co-defendants have also been convicted in this case

WESTMINSTER – Three gang members have been convicted for their role in a crime spree involving the armed robbery of two Orange County jewelry stores, identity theft, and street terrorism. Two of the defendants were found guilty by a jury Jan. 9, 2012, and the third defendant pleaded guilty mid-trial. All three are scheduled to be sentenced April 20, 2012, in Department W-18, West Justice Center, Westminster.

Aida Arroyo, 29, pleaded guilty mid-jury trial on Jan. 5, 2012, to one felony count each of second degree robbery, second degree commercial burglary, and street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member. She faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison.

Michael Burgin, 32, was convicted of one felony count each of second degree robbery, second degree commercial burglary, and street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member, and two prior strike convictions for first degree burglaries in 1999 and 2002. He faces a maximum sentence of 70 years to life in state prison.

Adam Weick, 30, was convicted of one felony count each of second degree robbery, second degree commercial burglary, and street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member, and a prior strike for kidnapping in 2005. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison.

This case involved 11 co-defendants, all residents of San Diego County, and was jointly investigated by the Laguna Beach Police Department (LBPD), Tustin Police Department (TPD) and Orange County District Attorney’s Office with assistance from the Orange County and San Diego County Sheriff’s Departments, Chula Vista and Oceanside Police Departments, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Co-Defendants
Salvador Barajas, 31, pleaded guilty Feb. 5, 2010, to one felony count each of receiving stolen property and street terrorism and was sentenced to 225 days in jail and three years of probation.

Touradj Barman, 69, pleaded guilty March 19, 2010, to one misdemeanor count of a pawnbroker failing to report receipt of property and was sentenced to one year of probation and a $10,000 payment to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

Sylvia Elena Castaneda, 31, pleaded guilty June 20, 2011, to one felony count of second degree robbery with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity and was sentenced to five years in state prison.

Jose Jesus Garcia, 37, pleaded guilty March 26, 2010, to one misdemeanor count of a pawnbroker failing to report receipt of property and was sentenced to one year of probation and a $10,000 payment to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

Pedro Avina Hernandez, 31, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 2, 2010, of one felony count each of second degree robbery, second degree commercial burglary, and street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member. He is expected to be sentenced Jan. 27, 2012, in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Alonso Jose Lopez, 33, was found guilty by a jury May 20, 2010, of one felony count each of second degree robbery, second degree commercial burglary, and street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member. He has a prior strike conviction for kidnapping in 1998, Lopez was sentenced July 23, 2010, to 25 years in state prison.

Daisy Oregon, 23, pleaded guilty Feb. 5, 2010, to one felony count each of receiving stolen property and street terrorism with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. She has a prior strike for robbery in 2005. Oregon was sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison.

Arturo Carlos Perez, 23, pleaded guilty July 9, 2010, to one felony count each of accessory after the fact and street terrorism with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. He was sentenced to two years in state prison.

Tustin Robbery
At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 4, 2009, Arroyo entered Tustin Village Jewelers under the pretense of selling a ring. The jewelry store has security gates and the defendant was buzzed in. While negotiating a price with the store owner, Arroyo asked to be let out of the store to make a phone call. When the owner buzzed the security gate to let Arroyo out, Burgin and Weick immediately rushed in to the store wearing caps and bandanas. They were armed with firearms and demanded at gunpoint that the victim unlock the jewelry cases to give them access to the diamonds.

One of the defendants held a gun to the back of the victim’s head and threatened to shoot him if he did not open the safe. The defendants then duct-taped the victim and put him in the bathroom. Burgin, Weick, and Arroyo stole over $160,000 in jewelry and fled the scene.

Laguna Beach Robbery
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 25, 2009, Burgin, Lopez, and Hernandez entered Baca Jewelers in Laguna Beach as the store was closing. They were dressed in black and attempted to hide their faces by wearing hoods and baseball caps. The defendants robbed a store employee at gun-point and stole over $1 million in watches and jewelry before fleeing the scene.