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Kent men charged in May 3 armed robbery

Two Kent men arrested in connection with the May 3 armed robbery of the El Abuelo Convenience Store in Issaquah were charged Wednesday.

Santos Castillo, 41, and Juan Eras-Duque, 36, each were charged with three counts of armed robbery: one for each of the three victims inside the store when it was robbed.

“This was a violent, dangerous take-over robbery of three strangers,” prosecutors wrote in the charging papers.

Detectives also recommended charges of intimidating a witness, Det. Sgt. Scott Trial said. The pair was arrested shortly after the robbery took place.

“They were picked up based on their description, direction of travel and proximity,” Trial said.

The two alleged robbers entered El Abuelo, which is at 147 Front St., at about 8:30 p.m. on May 3, displayed silver handguns, and robbed two employees and a customer of about $1,000 cash and jewelry, according to charging documents.

The men also reportedly threatened to come back and kill the people in the store if they called police, court papers said.

After the girlfriend of one of the victims called 911 and police received descriptions of the men, Issaquah Police Sgt. Kevin Nash noticed two men matching the description walking north in the 400 block of Front Street. He contacted them, placed them in custody and transported them to the victims, who positively identified them as the robbery suspects, court papers said.

One of the robbers struck a female victim in the month with the gun and took her wedding rings and cell phone, and also took a wedding ring from a male victim, charging papers said.

The cash and rings were recovered at the scene, police said.

Police stated in court documents that both men have prior warrants and have failed to appear in court. Castillo is believed to be a citizen of Mexico, and prosecutors wrote that they believe he is a flight risk if released. Both suspects are being held without bail at the King County Jail in Seattle.

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