Masked Thief Sentenced For $800k NYC Jewelry Store Heist Using Bear Spray And Hammers
NEW YORK (DOJ) – Pablo Valenzuela was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero to 70 months in prison for committing an armed robbery of a jewelry store in the Bronx, New York. Valenzuela previously pled guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “The defendant committed a violent armed robbery of a Bronx jewelry store and injured innocent employees and bystanders by spraying a can of extremely hazardous bear spray directly into their faces. Violent criminals who commit firearms offenses and terrorize hardworking New Yorkers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and court filings:
On August 10, 2022, Valenzuela, along with at least five other co-conspirators, committed an armed robbery of a jewelry store in the Bronx, New York, using a firearm, bear spray, and hammers. On the evening of August 10, Valenzuela entered the jewelry store wearing a ski mask and sprayed a can of bear spray into the eyes of jewelry store employees, temporarily blinding them. As customers, including young children, attempted to flee the jewelry store, five other masked robbers entered the store and used hammers to destroy glass display cases. At least one robber brandished a firearm. Valenzuela and the other robbers then stole hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry. Valenzuela fled the jewelry store and sprayed bear spray into the eyes of bystanders, many of whom were then rushed to the hospital. The robbers then fled in various directions on foot, in cars, and on the backs of mopeds driven by co-conspirators who stood nearby as lookout and getaway drivers.
In addition to his prison term, Valenzuela, 33, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.
Valenzuela’s co-defendant, Aaron Miller, pled guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery and will be sentenced on December 1, 2023.
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