Monday, June 23, 2008

Man sentenced in Bellevue jewelry robbery


U.S. District Judge James Robart sentenced Sergio Santamaria, 38, of Mexico to 70 months in a federal prison Monday for the September 2007 armed robbery of a jewelry courier in the parking lot of a Bellevue McDonald's restaurant.

Santamaria and two confederates followed the courier from a Seattle hotel to the restaurant in the Factoria neighborhood, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The robbers used their van to block the courier's vehicle, pointed what appeared to be a gun at him and ordered him to turn over his wallet and keys. Then they smashed a back window and stole a pack containing about $221,000 in jewelry. All three robbers were captured after a police chase that ended off Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Brown told the court in a sentencing memo that agents had been conducting surveillance on Santamaria and others who had traveled to the Seattle area from California with the intent to commit jewelry robberies.

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