For release on April 18, 2022
Supervising Deputy District Attorney
Major Crime and Drug Trafficking Unit
Smash and Grab Robbery Suspects Charged
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.
The investigation is still ongoing and further arrests are expected.