Suspects in a string of robberies were finally arrested by police after terrorizing victims in the Bay Area for almost three weeks over late October and early November. The Los Angeles Times reported that the perpetrators are five girls between 14-16 years of age, though the individuals were not named because they are minors. Charges had not been filed as of the press date, but it’s likely the group will face “strong arm” robbery offenses due to the nature of the crimes, which share certain similarities.
The Robbery Scheme: According to police, the group of teenagers operated as a crew to distract and attack their victims. They did not use weapons, but rather would use the element of surprise, jumping out of a vehicle to ambush and immobilize a victim in a bear hug. While one or two girls would hold the person, the other would snatch a purse, bag, and other belongings. Then, the group would run off to a getaway vehicle.
The crimes fall under the “strong arm” category of robberies because the perpetrators used force or threat of force to commit the offense, but did not use weapons. When a suspect does use a weapon under similar circumstances, the crime would be armed robbery.
Police Apprehend the Crew: Officials caught up with the crew after conducting an investigation that included review of security camera footage. The girls were pulled over in a vehicle that had been reported stolen, and police were able to link them to a string of crimes involving 10 robberies and attempted robberies. While the group was detained in Piedmont, they were transferred to the custody of Oakland police, where most of the offenses occurred.
Victim Profiles: Interestingly, the girls targeted certain victims in committing the strong arm robberies. They sought out women who were walking alone, with a wide age range of 29-70 years old. Some injuries were reported in connection with the crimes, including a woman who was punched in the face and multiple women falling as they tried to retain their personal items.
Charges to Come: As police wrap up their investigation and speak to victims and witnesses, charges will follow. In California, robbery is a felony, but the penalties depending on the circumstances and how the crime is charged:
· A first degree robbery carries a potential prison sentence between three and nine years; and,
· A second degree robbery conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison.
A sentence for a robbery conviction may also include fines from $1,000 up to $10,000.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys
While there are varying degrees of robbery depending on the circumstances, all theft crimes are punished harshly in San Diego. If you’re facing similar charges, it’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advise you on your options. It may be possible to reduce or avoid severe punishment by presenting appropriate defenses and attacking the claims made by prosecutors. For more information on fighting robbery charges in San Diego, please contact an experienced criminal attorney in San Diego to schedule a consultation.
Ozols Law Firm
619 288 8357
8880 Rio San Diego Dr. #22
San Diego, CA