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Teens charged in recent armed robberies
Five criminal complaints have been filed against three teenage boys arrested in a recent string of armed robberies and other violent crimes, charging them with a combined 25 felonies.
Abel M. Ruiz, 17, Anthony Michael Sanchez, 16, and Isaac J. Garcia, 17, who are being charged as adults, will face one count each of armed robbery, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft and assisting a criminal street gang for an armed robbery that happened Jan. 19 in the 1700 block of West Camino Kino.
Ruiz and Sanchez both had a second criminal complaint filed against them, charging them one additional count each of armed robbery, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft and assisting a criminal street gang in an armed robbery Jan. 27 in the parking lot of El Encanto Apartments, 2651 S. 8th Ave.
“Understand these are the charges prosecutors believe they can prove you guilty of beyond a reasonable doubt,” Yuma Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart told the three teens during each of their brief court appearances.
In addition to setting the teens' preliminary hearings for 4 p.m. Feb. 8, Stewart followed a request from the Yuma County Attorney's Office to set their bonds at one $1 million for each case. Since the judge set bond at the requested amount, and because they each have two cases against them, Ruiz and Sanchez are being held on a combined $2 million.
The judge also appointed the Yuma County Public Defender's Office to represent the three teens and ordered that they each pay $750 of the cost for the attorney. They are all being held in the Yuma County Detention Facility.
Ruiz and Sanchez were arrested Tuesday in the 1000 block of West 10th Street, and Garcia was arrested in the 700 block of South 10th Avenue. According to the Yuma Police Department, all three teens are considered active and violent gang members.
Ruiz and Sanchez were allegedly involved in at least two armed robberies: the one on Jan. 19 and the other on Jan. 27. Garcia was also allegedly involved in the Jan. 19 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 Tuesday, search warrants were executed that day 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 9mm Rugar 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.
YPD encourages anyone with any information about this case to call Detective Valenzuela at 373-4701, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.