Two convicted in Bakersfield gang-related robbery

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Two men have been convicted of robbery and face up to 25 years in prison after prosecutors say they arranged a meeting to purchase video games then robbed the seller at gunpoint.

The robbery was committed for the benefit of the Bloods criminal street gang, according to a District Attorney’s office news release.

Vannoy Sutton and Jerry Bowen were found guilty Monday in a Jan. 30, 2020, robbery that occurred around 9 p.m. on Olive Street in central Bakersfield.

The victim agreed to meet someone who went by the username “Bakersfield Buyer” on “LetGo,” which connects buyers and sellers of used products, prosecutors said. “Bakersfield Buyer” initiated contact and recommended the meeting place.

Upon arriving, the victim was approached by two men. As one man looked through the games, the other drew a handgun and pointed it at the victim’s head, according to prosecutors. The men searched the victim and the victim’s vehicle and stole a handgun and the games.

The following month, Sutton and Bowen were in a vehicle traveling the wrong direction on White Lane, according to the release. Police tried to stop the vehicle and a short chase ended with it speeding through a residential area into a cul-de sac, prosecutors said. The two were arrested.

Sutton discarded the robbery victim’s handgun during the pursuit, prosecutors said, and police identified him as “Bakersfield Buyer” and Bowen as the other man who participated in the robbery.

Bowen is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 13.

Sutton posted $100,000 bail before trial began and failed to appear when attorneys presented closing arguments. He has not been located.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111 or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040.

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