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Man sentenced for role in armed jewelry store robbery in Palm Desert

Rayjon Thorton
RSO / Courtesy
Rayjon Thorton

A San Pedro man pleaded guilty today to his involvement in an armed robbery last year at a Palm Desert jewelry store and was immediately sentenced to eight years and four months of state prison.

Rayjon Thorton, 26, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to one felony count each of robbery and being a convicted felon and narcotic addict in possession of a firearm, according to court records.

According to court records, a victim restitution hearing was set for May 11.

Colton resident Demetrius Thornton, 23, Joshua King, 27, of Compton, and Karina Ortega, 22, of Tracy, are accused of robbing a jewelry store owner June 28, 2022, with Thorton, according to Sgt. Daniel Milbrandt of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Ortega, Thornton and King were each charged with two felony counts, one each of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon to cause great bodily harm, according to court records. King was additionally charged with one felony count of being a convicted felon and narcotic addict in possession of a firearm.

Milbrandt said three suspects entered the store in the 73200 block of Highway 111 in Palm Desert and held the owner at gunpoint before stealing jewelry and fleeing the store.

It was unclear which three suspects actually entered the store.   

A six-month investigation by the Palm Desert sheriff's station led investigators to identity the four suspects and on Aug. 9, 2022, Rayjon Thorton was arrested in Commerce and Demetrius Thornton was arrested in Adelanto, according to Milbrandt. King was arrested Jan. 4 in Compton.

King remains held on $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, according to inmate records.  

Ortega is set to be arraigned at the Larson Justice Center in Indio March 3.

Thornton has a bench warrant of $50,000 for his arrest, according to court records.

No defendants have any listed felony convictions in Riverside County.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime

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