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Valley Fair Mall Jewelry Store Robbery Suspects in Custody

Two men believed to be connected to an October robbery of Ben Bridge Jewelers were arrested last month, police announced Friday.

Two San Diego men have been arrested in connection with a jewelry store armed robbery at San Jose's Valley Fair Mall in October, police announced Friday.

Authorities in Southern California arrested the suspects, Ryan McKnight, 34, and Robert Chavira, 40, in San Diego on Nov. 9 following an investigation by the San Jose Police Department's robbery unit.

The two are suspected of robbing at gunpoint Ben Bridge Jewelers at San Jose's Valley Fair Mall on the evening of Oct. 15, San Jose police said.

Investigators said the two entered the business wearing ski masks, ordered the employees to the ground, and using sledgehammers, broke glass display cabinets holding jewelry. They fled the scene in a stolen vehicle with numerous articles of jewelry, according to police.

The investigation revealed that McKnight and Chavira were allegedly involved in similar jewelry store robberies in San Diego, Palm Desert, and Costa Mesa over a period of several months, as well as a brazen casino robbery in San Diego County, according to police.

Detectives from the San Diego Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff's Office, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation helped locate McKnight and Chavira.

Both are residents of San Diego and are currently being held at San Diego County Jail on robbery charges and parole violations.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office has filed a second-degree felony robbery charge with a gun enhancement against McKnight, according to district attorney's office spokeswoman Lisa McCrary. She said he has a prior strike and is being held without bail.

Information about charges against Chavira was not available.

Anyone with information about the crime or suspects is asked to contact Detective Brian Meeker of the San Jose Police Department's robbery unit at 408- 277-4166. Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867) or visit http://svcrimestoppers.org/.

—By Khalida Sarwari, Bay City News Service

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