Felon Convicted in Armed Robberies in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA (CNS) – A 25-year-old felon was convicted of several robberies of teens in Santa Ana and faces sentencing next month, according to court records obtained Thursday.

Brandon Matthew Vu was convicted Wednesday of four counts of robbery, and one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and a prohibited person owning ammunition, all felonies. Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm, according to court records.

Vu is scheduled to be sentenced July 22.

Co-defendant Orando Gilbert Arballo pleaded guilty May 9 and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Co-defendant Summer Rae Skelton, the getaway driver in the robberies, pleaded guilty Jan. 25 and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The string of robberies were on June 25, 2019.

Police were dispatched to one robbery at 3:37 p.m. June 25, 2019, at Cubbon Street and Mohawk Drive, according to a trial brief from prosecutors. The victim was walking to work at a grocery store nearby when the robbers pulled up in a car and two armed men jumped out and threatened to kill him before taking a cellphone and air pod chargers worth $170 and $30 in cash, prosecutors said.

Police were dispatched to another robbery just before 4 p.m. at King Street and Washington Avenue.

A 16-year-old boy was waiting at a friend’s home in the 1400 block of North King Street when a car pulled up and two armed men ripped a necklace off of him and stole a phone and the jeans of a 14-year-old boy, prosecutors said. Another 14-year-old boy was robbed of $51, prosecutors said.

That evening just before 10 p.m., two detectives saw a suspect vehicle at Fairview and First Streets and when they tried to pull the car over a short pursuit began, prosecutors said. The vehicle crashed into a sign at a mobile home park at 215 S. Sullivan St. and Skelton and Arballo ran away, but Vu was arrested in the car, prosecutors said.

Skelton was tracked down in the foot pursuit and Arballo was arrested the next day, prosecutors said.

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