South City man pleads no contest to robbing San Bruno liquor store

A South San Francisco man who reportedly robbed a San Bruno liquor store in August and then took the money to gamble at Artichoke Joe’s casino pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony robbery and embezzlement charges plus further allegations on condition of up to one year in County Jail, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Luis Antonio Magana, 30, robbed a San Bruno liquor store at gunpoint on Aug. 1 about 1:05 p.m., Wagstaffe said. Magana fled the store with about $300 to $400 and although there were surveillance cameras in the store, he initially could not be identified because he had a black T-shirt covering his head, prosecutors said.

A witness saw Magana leave the store and gave police a description of the vehicle he was driving, which was seen driving to Artichoke Joe’s casino in San Bruno, Wagstaffe said. Surveillance footage there reportedly captured Magana driving up and entering the casino.

About 9:30 p.m., officers investigating the robbery found Magana inside the casino gambling and arrested him. The black T-shirt was found inside his car and his weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun, was recovered, Wagstaffe said.

On Tuesday, Magana pleaded no contest to felony robbery and felony embezzlement and admitted to two further enhancements related to the crime on condition of no state prison time and up to one year in County Jail, Wagstaffe said. Prosecutors were seeking a harsher sentence of up to three years and eight months in state prison.

Magana’s case has been continued to Feb. 3 for pre-sentence report and imposition of sentence, Wagstaffe said. He remains in custody on $150,000 bail.

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