One of four men who robbed a Milpas Street jewelry store four years ago — and threatened and tied up employees during the incident — will spend more than 24 years in state prison and pay nearly $805,000 for his crimes, District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced on Thursday. Jose Antonio Aviles, 35, was charged with robbery, dissuading a witness, and gun enhancements.
In April 2010, Aviles — along with Jose Angel Magdaleno and two other suspects — stole more than $750,000 worth of cash and jewelry after forcing the store’s owner, his wife, and an elderly employee into the back of the store at gunpoint and restraining them with zip ties and duct tape. During the crime — which was caught on tape — Aviles threatened to kill the owner if he reported the incident to the police.
DNA evidence found at the store matched that of Aviles’s and Magdaleno’s found at a San Diego store where a similar robbery occurred. Aviles was eventually sentenced to state prison for the San Diego crime and then was returned to Santa Barbara to answer to his Milpas Street–store charges in 2013. (Authorities allege that Magdaleno has fled to Mexico, and the two other suspects remain unidentified.)
The District Attorney’s Office released a statement on Aviles’s sentencing, thanking the Santa Barbara Police Department and others for their role in the investigation: “District Attorney Dudley, along with Deputy District Attorney Anthony Davis, also extend a heartfelt thanks to the victims in this case, who assisted law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office throughout this horrendous ordeal, which resulted in the arrest and conviction of a very violent and dangerous individual.”