Liz Kellar

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February 9, 2013
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Suspects arrested in Auburn armed robbery

It took less than half an hour after a be-on-the-lookout advisory was issued for Grass Valley Police officers to find and arrest three suspects in an Auburn armed robbery.

Auburn Police officers had responded to the call at about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday on Grass Valley Highway, said Auburn Police Sgt. Rick Hardesty.

The victim told officers he had been robbed at gunpoint of cash and a cell phone by two men, who also had assaulted him with their guns.

“He recognized the vehicle as belonging to his ex-girlfriend,” Hardesty said.

The Auburn Police Department issued an advisory just before 8 p.m., saying the suspects were believed to possibly be en route to the Lake of the Pines area and were reportedly traveling in a red Chevy Blazer.

A Grass Valley Police officer recalled making a traffic stop on a similar vehicle containing two men of the description given about two weeks ago, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Steve Johnson.

The men had given an address on Berryhill Drive, so the officer began heading up there to check, Johnson said.

“En route, he saw the vehicle on East Main Street,” Johnson said.

The officer made a traffic stop and detained three suspects — the two men and a woman, who was driving the Blazer.

Officers allegedly found a backpack in the rear of the vehicle containing two handguns and ammunition, as well as drug paraphernalia. The suspects and the vehicle were turned over to Auburn Police officers.

Jonathan Anthony Cueva, 21, of Penn Valley, was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, possessing a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy. Ethan Isakkson, 19, of Grass Valley, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal conspiracy and damaging a phone.

Mercedes Lynn Votino, 20, of Grass Valley, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and criminal conspiracy.

All three were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail or call 530-477-4229.

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The Union Updated Feb 9, 2013 06:00AM Published Feb 21, 2013 08:51AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.