An 18-year-old accused along with three teenage boys of carrying out a spree of armed muggings in City Heights and North Park was charged Friday with nine counts of robbery.
Spring Valley resident Ernesto Lamarquez is accused in eight separate crimes involving nine alleged victims spanning the week of April 17-24. Four of the robberies occurred within the span of 90 minutes early Wednesday morning, the day the suspects were arrested.
Lamarquez and the three juveniles — ages 15, 16, and 17 — are accused of using replica firearms to intimidate and pistol-whip the victims, according to Deputy District Attorney James Koerber, who alleged that Lamarquez admitting purchasing the fake guns for the group.
Lamarquez, who’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail, pleaded not guilty at his Friday afternoon arraignment and is slated to return to court May 16 for a readiness conference. His co-defendants, whose names are being withheld due to their age, were arraigned in San Diego juvenile court Friday morning.
The final four robberies took place between 12:45 and 2 a.m. Wednesday, after which all four suspects were arrested in a vehicle that officers located in an alley near the 2700 block of Fairmount Avenue, said SDPD Lt. Steve Shebloski.
The suspects are thought to be involved in a number of additional cases in San Diego, National City and Spring Valley, which are still under investigation, Koerber said.
The San Diego Police Department previously stated there were also cases being investigated in La Mesa and Chula Vista.
Anyone with information regarding the robbery spree was asked to call Detective Sgt. Don Williams at 619-516-3006 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
— City News Service
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