Two Teens Plead Not Guilty to Robbery Charges

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Two teenagers accused of holding up pedestrians with two other suspects in a crime spree that ended in a police pursuit and crash pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to robbery and other charges.

Victor Ledesma, 18, and 17-year-old Jonah Ledesma — who are not related — were each ordered held on $400,000 bail. They are facing six counts of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, felony evading and auto theft.

Two 15-year-olds were also arrested and will be prosecuted in Juvenile Court, said Deputy District Attorney Jim Koerber.

The quartet of robbers allegedly pulled guns and knives on pedestrians during holdups in Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park and La Jolla over a period of several hours on Friday, starting shortly after 12:30 a.m. at First and Pennsylvania avenues, according to San Diego police. Less than a half-hour later, a second pedestrian was robbed in the 4600 block of Georgia Street, SDPD Officer Frank Cali said.

The group then proceeded to shake down another person on 32nd Street near Thorn Street about 1:45 a.m. and targeted a fourth victim roughly 20 minutes later in the area of La Jolla Boulevard and Nautilus Street, Cali said.

A fifth incident also occurred in La Jolla, Koerber said.

About 2:15 a.m., the vehicle the alleged bandits were traveling in was spotted near Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Officers caught up with it a short time later and pursued it to the south and east.

The chase ended when the fleeing suspects’ car ran over a tire-flattening spike strip police had laid in its path and smashed into another vehicle on Midway Drive, near West Point Loma Boulevard. The four occupants then jumped out and attempted unsuccessfully to escape on foot.

Officers found a gun believed to have been used in the holdups ditched on Sports Arena Boulevard, near where the pursuit ended, Cali said.

Victor Ledesma has a robbery conviction from 2012 and faces up to 28 years in prison if convicted. Jonah Ledesma faces up to 18 years behind bars if convicted.

A status conference is scheduled Monday and a preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 9.

Categories: KUSI