Cambrian Resident

22-year-old arrested in series of car crash and casino robberies

- By Robert Salonga rsalonga@ bayareanew­

SAN JOSE >> A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a series of San Jose robberies last month that included two attacks in casino parking lots and a string of cases where he allegedly rear-ended drivers to get them to stop so he could rob them, police said.

Brian Valverde, a San Jose resident, is being held without bail in the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of multiple counts of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft, according to the San Jose Police Department.

The first crime that police linked to Valverde was reported Dec. 27 and described as a robbery and vandalism near Blue Mountain Drive and Mount McKinley Drive in East San Jose. Police said the victim told responding officers that a man rearended her car with his car, took unspecifie­d property from her, then threatened to shoot her if she followed him.

Valverde also is suspected in a Jan. 5 robbery in the parking lot of the Bay 101 casino in which a woman reported someone pulling away her purse and running off.

On Jan. 23, an employee at Casino M8trix told police she was walking to her car when a white MercedesBe­nz pulled up followed by a man getting out of the vehicle and brandishin­g a knife at her. When the woman ran off, she said the man fired a gun at her, and that a projectile ricocheted and hit her in the heel of her shoe.

Police determined that

the projectile was from a pellet gun and now believe Valverde was the assailant in that incident.

Valverde also has been accused of two robberies Jan. 28 in which he allegedly rear-ended then robbed motorists in separate instances near Monterey and Senter Road and The Alameda near West Hedding Street, police said. A Jan.22 armed robbery in Santa Clara, on Stevens Creek Boulevard near the Westfield Valley Fair shopping mall, also has been linked to Valverde.

Valverde was arrested Jan. 30, and he was booked into jail the next day, according to jail records. At the time of his arrest, police said a search warrant turned up evidence that Valverde also was involved in illegal drug sales.

Police also believe that Valverde committed other robberies in the area and ask that anyone with informatio­n for investigat­ors contact Detective Catherine Van Brande at 408-277-4166 or by email at Tips also can be left with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or at svcrimesto­

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