Brazen Fashion Valley jewelry store robbery suspects behind bars

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Two parolees suspected of carrying out at least three
jewelry store robberies — including a brash heist during which the pistol-
wielding thieves swerved a car through crowds of shoppers at Fashion Valley
mall — were behind bars Thursday.

Robert Chavira, 40, and Ryan Alan McKnight, 34, were arrested Wednesday
night after leaving a hotel at Grape Street and Pacific Highway, near Lindbergh
Field.

Chavira and McKnight, both of whom live in the San Diego area, are
suspected of carrying out holdups at jewelry shops in Palm Desert on Oct. 26,
in San Jose on Oct. 15 and in Mission Valley on the morning of Sept. 16,
according to Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Angel Ramos.

During the local crime, three gun-toting bandits with ski masks over
their faces drove a sedan across walkways in front of shops at the Friars Road
shopping center. People scrambled to get out of the way as the thieves veered
across the mall in a white older-model Toyota Camry, honking the horn and
ramming signs, police reported.

After the car stopped in front of a Ben Bridge store, two of the men got
out, carrying pistols, and ransacked the business, smashing display cases and
grabbing jewelry. They then got back into the vehicle and were driven out of
the mall.

About 10 minutes later, officers found the car — which had been stolen
earlier in the day — abandoned in a parking lot at a nearby Wells Fargo bank.

Despite the robbers' reckless scheme for getting to and from the
targeted jewelry retailer, no injuries resulted, according to police.

The third perpetrator of the heist remains at large, Ramos said.

Chavira and McKnight were being held without bail in San Diego Central
Jail.

Categories: KUSI