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Two men in multiple robberies case sentenced

May 25, 2012

Two men from a San Diego gang were sentenced Friday in connection with two Orange County robberies, one of which was in Laguna Beach.

Michael Burgin, 32, and Adam Weick, 31, were two out of 12 defendants sentenced for a 2009 crime spree involving Baca Jewelers in Laguna Beach and Tustin Village Jewelers in Tustin.

Burgin is accused of stealing $1 million worth of watches from the Forest Avenue jewelry store on Aug. 25, 2009.

Burgin was given a sentence of 90 years to life in state prison Friday, according to an Orange County District Attorney press release. He was convicted of two felony counts of second-degree burglary, second-degree commercial burglary and street terrorism, with enhancements for criminal street gang activity, the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member and two prior strike convictions for first-degree burglaries in 1999 and 2002, the release said.

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Weick was sentenced to 21 years in a state prison. According to the release, he's convicted of second- degree robbery, second-degree commercial burglary, and street terrorism. He had enhancements for criminal street gang activity, the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member and a prior strike for a 2005 kidnapping, the release said.

Three defendants, including Weick and Burgin, stole $160,000 from the Tustin jewelry store. A couple weeks later Burgin and two co-defendants robbed Baca Jewelers, holding an employee at gunpoint as they stole $1 million worth of jewelry before fleeing the scene.

The Laguna Beach Police Department responded and a pursuit ensued, leading police to a parking structure in Aliso Viejo where the suspects abandoned their vehicle.

The owner of the getaway car, Sylvia Elena Castaneda, 30, reported it stolen in San Diego County. According to the district attorney, she was accused of attempting to impede the investigation by making a false report and knowingly lending the car to be used in the robbery.

The Tustin Police Department noticed similarities between the August robberies and the two agencies began a joint investigation.

— Joanna Clay

Twitter: @CoastlinePilot

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