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A man who along with his cousin admitted robbing a number of teenage pedestrians and other young people in Chula Vista in 2015 and 2016 was sentenced Friday to four years and eight months in state prison.

Nicholas Solorio, 23, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of robbery.

Solorio was arrested in December 2016 and charged with robbing four pedestrians and trying to rob a fifth in western Chula Vista over a period of several weeks dating back to Nov. 28 of that year. He was subsequently charged with committing an additional five robberies in 2015.

Solorio’s cousin, 32-year-old Malaefono Sula, pleaded guilty to three robbery counts and one attempted holdup and was sentenced to a year in jail.

The suspects targeted young people walking alone in western Chula Vista, according to Chula Vista police Capt. Vern Sallee.

On Dec. 27, 2016, one of the suspects hopped out of a red SUV in the vicinity of Twin Oaks Avenue and I Street, grabbed a 16-year-old boy by the hand and demanded he turn over his phone, the captain said.

The teen punched the suspect in the face and ran off. He reported the crime and was able to provide police with a description of the suspects and their vehicle, along with its Nevada license plate number, according to Sallee.

In each of the previous robberies, the victims described two heavyset men in a red SUV, one of whom approached them and demanded their property. They took cell phones, a wallet, cash and other items.

On Dec. 2, 2016, a 16-year-old boy was threatened with a knife during a robbery in the 700 block of Fifth Avenue. A suspect claimed to be armed with a gun while robbing another 16-year-old boy in the 100 block of Telegraph Road the same day, as well as in a similar holdup targeting a 17-year-old girl in the 1400 block of Tobias Drive on Dec. 1.

–City News Service

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