MCALLEN, Texas — The men who are believed to have carried out a jewelry store robbery at a popular Texas border city shopping mall that was mistaken by locals for an active shooter situation were in the country illegally.
Seven men identified as Mexican nationals went before a McAllen municipal judge on Monday. The judge formally charged them each with one count of aggravated robbery. The judge set their bond at $200,000. Some of the men received an additional charge for failure to identify. This charge brought an additional $10,000 to their bond.
From Mcallen PD.
We are investigation robbery attempt at jewelry store at mall. All known suspects in custody. No injuries involved. Reports of shots fired currently attributed to smashing glass cases. pic.twitter.com/NtJBiWtUyU
— Joe (@joesalinasKURV) July 28, 2018
Officials identified the men as 43-year-old Raul Alberto Rangel Rivera, 32-year-old Alfredo Rafael Barrera, 28-year-old Jorge Angel Rodriguez Mejia, 26-year-old Miguel Quintanilla Cardenas, 24-year-old Abner Zepeda Posos, 23-year-old Brayan Oliver Melchor, and 22-year-old Javier Leobardo Olvera Ramirez. Federal law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart Texas that the seven men entered the country illegally.
The seven men are accused of barging into the Deutsch&Deutsch jewelry store waiving what appears to be handguns in an attempted robbery. As Breitbart Texas reported at the time, shoppers at the La Plaza Mall mistook the sound of breaking display cases for gunfire leading to a widespread panic. The panic spread further through social media as local residents and some journalists reported an active shooter at the shopping center. Police told Breitbart Texas that no shots were fired.
In 2011, two San Antonio men carried out a similar robbery at the same jewelry store in McAllen. The duo managed to take 91 Rolex watches, The McAllen Monitor reported at the time. The men were caught days later near Waco during a traffic stop when authorities initially thought that the watches were counterfeit.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.