Hot Spot Smoke Shop manager recounts robbery of his Grass Valley store |

Hot Spot Smoke Shop manager recounts robbery of his Grass Valley store

The gunmen stepped inside the Hot Spot Smoke Shop Monday afternoon wearing masks, their weapons drawn.

They quickly advanced toward Lucky Singh, manager of the 440 Colfax Ave. store, and pointed their guns at him.

Two minutes later, around 12:50 p.m., the gunmen were gone. Police found a stolen van used by the robbers a few blocks away.

Joseph Daniel Sandoval, 31, and James Edwin Sandoval III, 32, both of Hayward, are linked by authorities to the robbery and were arrested Tuesday after a long car chase. A third suspect remains at large.

The robbers took hundreds of dollars, along with Singh’s laptop and cell phone. No shots were fired, and Singh returned to work the following day.

“Pretty much they took only two minutes,” Singh said. “They said, ‘Don’t move, don’t move, I’m going to shoot you.’”

According to Grass Valley Police Lt. Joe Matteoni, it appears the suspects stole a van from a Grass Valley glass business specifically to use in the robbery. Officers found the van a few blocks from the smoke shop.

“We’re still processing the van,” Matteoni said.

Police said the suspects wore hooded sweatshirts, masks and gloves. Most of their skin was covered.

Singh said one of the suspects easily hopped over a glass counter top. He took a cash register drawer in one hand and the laptop in another.

Manager of the store since 2011, Singh had never been robbed before Monday.

“Everyone should be alarmed,” he said. “People don’t think it happens here. It is different now.”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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