YPD makes arrests in armed robbery cases
Updated, 7:47 p.m. - Three teens have been arrested in connection with a string of recent armed robberies and other violent crimes. They are being held in the Yuma County Detention Facility and will be charged as adults.
According to the Yuma Police Department, the three teens were arrested shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday. YPD has identified them as Abel Ruiz, 17, Anthony Michael Sanchez, 16, and Isaac J. Garcia, 17. YPD considers all three active and violent gang members.
The names of juveniles suspected of crimes are not generally released to the public by law enforcement. However, the identities of these three teens were released by YPD because they will be charged as adults.
Ruiz and Sanchez were arrested in the 1000 block of West 10th Street, and Garcia was arrested in the 700 block of South 10th Avenue.
Ruiz and Sanchez were allegedly involved in at least two armed robberies. The first happened Jan. 19 in the 1700 block of West Camino Kino and the second on Jan. 27 in the parking lot of El Encanto Apartments, 2651 S. 8th Ave. Garcia was also allegedly involved in the West Camino Kino robbery.
In addition, YPD suspects the three teens were involved in several other violent crimes during the past two weeks, which are still under investigation.
After the arrests on Tuesday, three search warrants were executed at three separate residences in the 1000 block of South 9th Avenue, the 200 block of South 8th Avenue and the 3500 block of West 8th Street.
During a search of the homes, police allegedly discovered the handgun believed to be used in the robberies, as well as a stolen assault weapon, a stolen rifle, a stolen ballistic vest, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The teens were initially booked into the Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center but were later transferred to Yuma County jail to face charges as adults.
Ruiz and Sanchez are expected to be charged with two counts of armed robbery, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft and assisting a criminal street gang. Garcia is expected to be charged with armed robbery, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft and assisting a criminal street gang.
YPD encourages anyone with any information about this case to call Detective Valenzuela at 373-4701, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
“This type of criminal activity is intolerable in our community,” said YPD Chief John Lekan. “The Yuma Police Department will continue to commit all reasonable resources and staffing to aggressively pursue, arrest and fully investigate the offenders responsible for these felonious acts. Our efforts will include presenting the best possible case for prosecution to the Yuma County Attorney’s Office. I am confident other components of the local criminal justice system will hold those involved in these crimes accountable.”