Three LA-area residents charged in smash-and-grab at Palm Desert jewelry store plead not guilty

Update 10/20/23:

Los Angeles residents Mason Barron, 21, and 24-year-old Raymond Garcia were charged along with Byron Lee, 19, of Compton with one felony count each of robbery, grand theft over $950 and organized retail theft, according to court records. Barron, who was also charged with two felony counts each of robbery, grand theft over $950 and organized retail theft, also faces two felony counts of burglary along with Lee.

The three suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Barron has previously pleaded guilty to grand theft over $950 and has an active case, in which he’s suspected with a woman and two juveniles of robbing a jewelry store at the Palm Desert mall in July, according to court records.

Original Report 10/19/23:

Three LA area residents were arrested in connection with a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in the El Paseo area of Palm Desert earlier this month.

The robbery happened on Oct. 5 reported at a jewelry store on the 73000 block of El Paseo.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Dept., the reporting party told investigators that multiple subjects entered the business with hooded sweatshirts, masks, and carrying hammers.

The suspects smashed display cases and fled the area. The robbery resulted in a “significant loss of high-value merchandise” for the Palm Desert business, authorities said.

On Wednesday, members of the Riverside Sheriff’s Palm Desert Station, assisted by the Los Angeles Retail Crime Task Force, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, and the Office of Correctional Safety Fugitive Team, served four residential search warrants within the County of Los Angeles. The warrants stemmed from the investigation into the robbery.

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“During the investigation, members of the Riverside Sheriff’s Office developed leads and located evidence that helped identify the suspects associated with the robbery and two residential burglaries,” writes Sgt. Rovann Cleveland in an RSO news release.

Three men were arrested as a result of the investigation.

A 24-year-old and a 21-year-old from Los Angeles along with a 19-year-old from Compton.

All three men have been booked at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where they face charges of robbery and burglary.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is encouraged to contact Investigator Grasso of the Palm Desert Station at (760) 836-1600.

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