Fresno jewelry store's alleged bumbling bandits plead not guilty

The Fresno BeeJuly 10, 2014 

Two Modesto teens suspected of bungling the armed robbery of a Fresno jewelry store are being tried as adults in Fresno County Superior Court.

Edgar Yepez, 16, and Jesus Antonio Medina, 17, face two felony charges: attempted robbery and assault with a firearm.

After they pleaded not guilty Wednesday, Judge Brian Alvarez ordered them to be held at the Juvenile Justice Center, a county detention center south of Fresno.

Police say the two tried to rob Joyeria Marlenes jewelry store at Kings Canyon Road and Clovis Avenue on June 27 before being chased away by the owner, who had a shotgun.

A store surveillance video released by police shows the 6-foot-tall, 215-pound Yepez pointing a handgun at a clerk while the 5-foot-7-inch, 130-pound Medina gets on his cell phone and tries to jump over a display counter. He didn't hurdle over, however.

Police say the store owner was in the back office with his daughter and newborn grandchild. When the owner heard the clerk say he was being robbed, the owner came out of the office armed with a shotgun with a "bullpup" stock.

Seeing the shotgun, the robbers backed out the front door and fled. Nobody was injured and nothing was stolen.

Tipsters helped police identify the robbers. Medina turned himself into police on July 3. Yepez was arrested by Modesto police last Saturday.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer has said both boys have Modesto gang ties.

Court records say Yepez is being held in lieu of $125,000 bail. Medina's bail is $35,000.

Their next court hearing is July 15.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6434, plopez@fresnobee.com or @beecourts on Twitter.

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