A 24-year-old Yuma man has been formally charged with the armed robberies of a motel and a convenience store earlier this week.
Vicente Nunez Dominguez was arraigned in Yuma Justice Court Wednesday before Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart, who informed him during a brief court hearing that the Yuma County Attorney's Office was charging him with two felony counts of armed robbery.
“Looking at the nature and circumstances of these offenses, the evidence will reveal at trial that this defendant essentially committed two armed robberies within a short period of time,” said prosecutor William Katz. “The patterns of both armed robberies are consistent with one another. Additionally, the physical descriptions of the robberies match this suspect, as well as the getaway car.”
In addition to appointing a public defender to represent him, Stewart scheduled Dominguez's next court date — a preliminary hearing — for 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Katz also asked the judge to increase Dominguez's bond from the $550,000 it had previously been set at by the weekend hearing officer to $1 million, saying he is a flight risk and that he is facing 10 to 22 years in prison for each of the offenses.
Judge Stewart granted Katz's request and reset the bond.
According to the Yuma Police Department, the first robbery happened Monday at about 12:24 a.m. at the Ramada Inn, 300 E. 32nd St., and the second was reported at about 12:38 a.m. at the Chevron at 2491 W. 16th St., about four miles away.
In both robberies, the suspect was described as a short male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, camouflage shorts, black shoes and a black bandanna covering his face. The suspect reportedly brandished a gun in both robberies and fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
A white Ford Mustang was seen leaving the area after both robberies.
Less than four hours later, at about 3 a.m., officers from the Cocopah Police Department located a person and a vehicle matching the descriptions from the armed robberies at the Cocopah Casino and arrested him.
“(Dominguez) was apprehended a short time later with denominations of money that had previously been stolen,” Katz said during Wednesday's hearing.
Anybody with information about these cases is encouraged to call YPD at 373-4700 or 78-CRIME.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.