Alleged Robbers Plead Not Guilty for Armed Holdups in La Jolla and Beyond

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

One of three men accused in a series of armed holdups in which a gun was held to the head of some of the victims pleaded not guilty today to robbery and attempted robbery charges.

Benjamin Hernandez, 23, the alleged getaway driver in all the robberies, was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

"He was driving the car, and two other people were (involved) ... one had a gun, the other had a crowbar," Deputy District Attorney Dan Link alleged outside court. "Often times in these robberies, the gun was placed to the head of the victim, and in most cases, either a cell phone or a wallet was taken."

One person was struck with the crowbar, the prosecutor said.

Link said San Diego police are following leads to try and capture the other two suspects.

The prosecutor said there were seven holdups between 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. last Sunday, including four in Ocean Beach, four downtown, one in Point Loma and two at UCSD.

Hernandez faces 15 years in prison if convicted, Link said.

A readiness conference is scheduled Feb. 18 and a preliminary hearing on Feb. 20.

—City News Service


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