Home Contra Costa County Santa Clara DA: Smash and Grab Robbery Suspects Charged

Santa Clara DA: Smash and Grab Robbery Suspects Charged

Press Release

by ECT

Five men have been charged with a series of smash and grab robberies, part of a crime wave that terrorized the Bay Area during the holidays. The men, armed with construction hammers, would invade stores en masse.

Charged with felonies are Michael Earl, 18, of Oakland, Andrew Manuel Maravillalopez, 19, of Hayward, Noah G Tekle, 19, of San Leandro, Charles Evans, 18, of San Leandro, and Maurice James Sweet, 19, of Pittsburg.

Earl, Maravillalopez, Tekle, and Evans were arraigned on April 15 with bail set at $250,000. Maurice James Sweet, 19, is on for arraignment this afternoon at 1:35 in Department 23 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

“These coordinated crimes scared people into thinking there was no law, no order,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “Make no mistake: there are both. Police and prosecutors all over the Bay Area are working together to arrest and prosecute the people responsible for these robberies.”

The brazen flash robberies, often caught on video, frightened holiday shoppers all over the country with stores being invaded in downtown San Francisco, San Jose, Chicago, and Los Angeles, among others.

On October 29, 2021, they hit J & Huss Custom Jewelry in Eastridge Mall. Three suspects entered the jewelry store and began smashing the glass display cases that contained jewelry, using hammers. The suspects took approximately $100,000 – $150,000 worth of jewelry.

On November 5, 2021, two men hit CH Premier Jewelers in Valley Fair Mall. The suspects entered the store and attempted to break a display case using a black and yellow mallet. After unsuccessful attempts to break the glass, security responded and chased them away.

On January 3, 2022, a large group invaded the Joyeria Martha at La Placita Tropicana shopping center in San Jose, an indoor market with several jewelry and clothing stores. About nine suspects entered the store and used yellow and black hammers to damage glass display cases containing jewelry. During the robbery, one of the suspects hit a female store employee on the head with a hammer, causing injury. The suspects fled the store with an unknown amount of jewelry.

 1.) Andrew Maravilla Hayward Resident20 Years
 2.) Maurice Sweet Pittsburg Resident19 Years
 3.) Charles Evans San Leandro Resident19 Years
 4.) Michael Earle Menlo Park Resident18 Years
 5.) Noah Tekle San Leandro Resident19 Years
 6.) David Foster Newark Resident20 Years

The investigation is still ongoing and further arrests are expected.

SJPD Arrests Suspects Wanted for Multiple Smash-and-Grab Robberies

The San José Police Department’s Robbery Unit concluded a long-term, multi-jurisdictional investigation involving a prolific robbery crew who targeted jewelry stores throughout the Bay Area.

SJPD Robbery Unit detectives, with the assistance of other local jurisdictions, worked to identify and arrest six suspects who worked in concert between October 2021 to January 2022 to commit multiple smash-and-grab robberies in San José. Through collaboration, Robbery Detectives were made aware of similar cases with the same criminal pattern and suspect descriptions in several other cities and counties.

During these robberies, multiple suspects entered jewelry stores wearing masks. The suspects used sledgehammers and tools to break open glass display cases and take thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry. Some of the suspects were armed with firearms and pepper spray. After stealing the merchandise, the suspects would run to awaiting vehicles and flee the scene.

After conducting extensive follow-up, Robbery Unit Detectives were able to identify and obtain arrest warrants for the suspects and residential search warrants for their associated addresses.

On April 14, 2022, San José Police Department Covert Response Unit (CRU), MERGE Unit, Burglary Prevention Unit (BPU), SJPD Patrol Officers, and Daly City Police Detectives assisted Robbery Unit Detectives with the apprehensions and the service of search warrants. Additional investigative assistance was provided by Daly City PD, Palo Alto PD, Merced PD, Roseville PD, Concord PD, San Mateo PD, Pittsburg PD, Antioch PD, and the United States Marshals Service.

During the apprehensions and subsequent search warrants, detectives seized several firearms, including two assault weapons with extended magazines, privately made firearms (ghost guns), one which was converted to fully automatic fire, and gun manufacturing equipment including molds, jigs, and tools. Two additional subjects, who were unrelated to the robberies, were also arrested for firearm possession.

“Our Robbery detectives continue to do amazing work in identifying those responsible for victimizing our community and together with the outstanding work by our Covert Response Unit, Burglary Prevention Unit, and Special Operations personnel, our Department ensured the successful arrest and apprehension of these dangerous individuals. I would also like to thank the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the allied agencies who assisted with this operation, this was a complicated investigation involving many jurisdictions. I am extremely proud of the work that was done by everyone!” said Chief of Police Anthony Mata.

Anyone with information, or victims of unreported incidents associated to these suspects, is asked to contact Detective Estantino #4339 of the San José Police Department’s Robbery Unit at (408) 277-4166.

Submit crime tips and remain anonymous by using the P3TIPS mobile app, calling the tip line at (408) 947-STOP, or on www.svcrimestoppers.org. If the information you submit leads to an arrest, you are eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers Program.

You may also like