By Pablo Lopez | The Fresno Bee
Two teenagers who bungled the armed robbery of a Fresno jewelry store — a crime captured by a surveillance video camera — were sentenced Wednesday to prison.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Brian Alvarez sentenced 17-year-old Edgar Yepez to 11 years and four months in prison for being the gunman in the attempted heist. His accomplice, Jesus Antonio Medina, also 17, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Fresno police say the two bandits tried to rob Joyeria Marlenes jewelry store at Kings Canyon Road and Clovis Avenue on June 27 before being chased away by the owner who had a shotgun.
A store surveillance video released by police shows the 6-foot tall, 215-pound Yepez pointing a handgun at a clerk while the 5-foot-7-inch, 130-pound Medina gets on his cell phone and tries to jump over a display counter, but doesn’t hurdle it.
Police say the store owner was in the back office with his daughter and newborn grandchild. When the owner heard the clerk say he was being robbed, the owner came out of the office armed with a shotgun. Seeing the shotgun, the robbers backed out the front door and ran. Nobody was injured and nothing was stolen.
Tipsters helped police identify the robbers, who didn’t wear masks or disguises. Medina turned himself into police on July 3. Yepez was arrested by Modesto police two days later.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer has said both boys have Modesto gang ties.
The pair were tried as adults because of the seriousness of the crime.
On Nov. 7, Yepez pleaded no contest to attempted robbery with a gun and Medina pleaded no contest to assault.
Since their arrests, the pair have been behind bars at the Juvenile Justice Campus on American Avenue south of Fresno.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Alvarez ordered that the pair be transferred to a youth correctional facility until their 18th birthday. Once they are adults, they will be transferred to an adult prison, the judge said.
Neither defendant made a statement other than to ask the judge to grant one phone call to each so they could call their parents before going to prison. Alvarez granted the request.