On 7/12/18, 32-year-old Jonathan Braun Ortiz was sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbing a traveling jewelry salesman in University Town Center in San Diego two years ago. On 3/16/16, Ortiz and his accomplice, Diego Rojas, assaulted the salesman as he left a grocery store and walked towards his car. The victim suffered permanent eye damage from being kicked during the robbery.

The robbers slashed the tires on the victim’s car and then stole pearl necklaces, bracelets and rings. The stolen merchandise had a retail value of $1.5 million. Ortiz and Rojas were linked to another robbery of a jeweler on 12/7/14. In that incident, the men approached jeweler Mark Himmel at gunpoint outside of his home. They stole $600,000 worth of jewelry. None of the merchandise stolen from the two victims was ever recovered.

After Ortiz and Rojas went to trial, Himmel was found dead of a gunshot wound in his home. The death was ruled a suicide. According to Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde, the robbery left Himmel, who was not insured, despondent and in debt. Rojas and Ortiz were also convicted for their involvement in a robbery crew in Los Angeles that had targeted jewelry salesman in 2015. In January 2016, the two men were sentenced to a year in prison, but by that point, they had served their time and they were released. Three months after their release they committed the robbery in University Town Center. Rojas was ultimately sentenced to 21 years in prison while Ortiz received a 15-year sentence.

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