OCEANSIDE — A San Diego Superior Court Judge ordered two people to stand trial for the armed robbery of their former employer’s bagel shop.
Judge Joan Weber found enough evidence at a preliminary hearing Nov. 18 to support the charges against Miguel Luis Devivar and James Dennis Leipert for their roles in the Aug. 22 holdup of Bruegger’s Bagel in the 4100 block of Oceanside Boulevard.
Devivar, 21, and Leipert, 19, are charged with two counts each of robbery, with additional firearm allegations, and one count each of conspiring to commit robbery and burglary.
Because Leipert was holding the .22-caliber rifle during the robbery, he faces more than 19 years in prison, while Devivar could be sent to prison for seven years, if convicted, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Rodriguez said outside the courtroom.
Weber scheduled a Dec. 4 arraignment date, at which time a trial date may be set.
Despite arguments from defense attorneys that the two victims, Raul Ruiz and Laura Silva, were involved in the robbery, which the lawyers said was proved by their false statements to police and on the stand, Weber said she felt the two victims’ stories about the robbery matched what the defendants had told police.
Ruiz and Silva were working in the bagel shop at the time of the robbery. They were both given immunity in the case for their testimony.
The lawyers believe that because the victims knew about the holdup then there was no robbery, since that knowledge “takes the fear factor” out of the crime. The defendants told police they stole $600 from the shop, which they split; however, more than $1,035 was actually missing from the business. The $435 was never accounted for.
The defendants told police that neither victim was involved in the robbery; however, Devivar said he phoned Ruiz at the shop just prior to the robbery so that the young man wouldn’t “freak out.” Leipert said Ruiz was smiling as he opened the safe for the two masked men.
Ruiz testified he told Devivar in that phone call, “If you’re going to rob us, then go ahead and do it.” He said what he meant by that was they could rob the shop if they wanted to, just don’t get him involved.
Defense attorneys also had their request denied to exclude the victims’ testimony, since they violated a court order by speaking to one another about their testimony during a lunch break the previous day.
Devivar was on probation at the time of the robbery for a 2005 felony conviction of buying a known stolen vehicle.
Both men remain in custody on more than $200,000 bail.