An 18-year-old Redwood City man accused of robbing two businesses and attempting to rob a third earlier this year was in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Febronio Alexander Mendoza faces numerous felony charges including two counts of robbery, use of a firearm while committing a felony, attempted robbery, possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance, Wagstaffe said.
The alleged robberies occurred Feb. 19 between 3:09 a.m. and 10:42 a.m.
The defendant is alleged to have robbed a 7-Eleven in the 1700 block of Broadway in Redwood City at gunpoint for a total of $120, Wagstaffe said. Later that morning, Mendoza allegedly unsuccessfully tried to rob a Subway in the 1900 block of El Camino Real. About 10 minutes later, he is alleged to have successfully robbed the Subway in the 700 block of Woodside Road for an unknown amount of cash.
Mendoza reportedly wore a skull mask in the second two robberies, Wagstaffe said, but one witness reportedly saw him take it off as he fled the scene.
Redwood City police had stopped Mendoza in his car the previous day for a traffic stop, Wagstaffe said, and his car was identified at the scene of the robberies.
About 1:39 p.m. on the day of the robberies, Mendoza reportedly went to the Redwood City police station to report an unrelated hit-and-run, Wagstaffe said.
The officer he reported the hit-and-run to was the same officer investigating the robberies, and according to authorities, their conversation began with the hit-and-run and ended with admissions to all three robberies.
A search warrant was obtained to search Mendoza’s home and police found 30 pills, originally thought to be Ecstasy but were not, $300, a loaded .44 handgun and two rifles that were reported stolen, Wagstaffe said.
Mendoza pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday and his jury trial is set to begin March 9, 2015. He is currently out of custody on $300,000 bail.