SAN JOSE – Two men have been charged with holding up more than half a dozen small businesses in San Jose earlier this year, according to prosecutors.
Vayshawd Beverly, 19, of Ceres, and Juan Gomez, 22, of East Palo Alto, are facing multiple felony armed robbery charges, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday. Beverly was arrested last week in Fresno and was arraigned Tuesday. Gomez was arrested in February and was arraigned in March.
Prosecutors said the pair targeted smoke shops and stole cash, cellphones and Swisher Sweets. In one of the robberies, one of the suspects allegedly held a gun on a customer while another ripped away the victim’s cellphone, pulling her out of her wheelchair.
The robbery spree began Jan. 28, when Beverly and Gomez, along with two others, robbed the Sharkey Smoke Shop on Senter Road, according to prosecutors. Half an hour later, the same group allegedly robbed three people at the 99 Foot Spa on West San Carlos Street.
Prosecutors said Beverly and Gomez robbed the Kwikee Mart on McKee Road on Feb. 7. The following day, the duo, along with a third suspect, allegedly robbed the Berryessa Smoke Shop on Berryessa Road.
On Feb. 18, Gomez and two others robbed the McKee Smoke Shop on McKee Road, according to prosecutors. Beverly and Gomez, along with a third suspect, allegedly robbed the Santa Clara Smoke Shop on East Santa Clara Street on Feb. 24 and Beverly and one other robbed Discount Cigarettes and Cigars on Mckee Road on Feb. 27.
Beverly and Gomez face prison time if convicted of the charges, according to prosecutors.
“These men rode around this city, threatening innocent people and endangering lives,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “They will be held accountable by my office, and our community will not live in fear.”
Prosecutors said the court reduced Beverly’s bail from $2 million to $250,000 against their objections. Gomez, however, is in custody on $2 million bail.