Serial home invasion robber who used BB gun gets 374 years in prison


A 33-year-old man who shot a woman in the face with a BB gun as she held her child during one of a series of San Gabriel Valley home invasion robberies was sentenced Thursday to 374 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Jose Lewis Avila was convicted in July of carrying out nine robberies in March and April 2011, often targeting women driving alone. Upon arriving home, Avila accosted the women, demanding money and other items, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Each time, Avila covered his face with a bandanna or mask and used a BB gun, shooting one of his victims in the face.


As the robberies unfolded, a task force involving the Alhambra, Arcadia, Monterey Park and San Gabriel police departments was formed to track him down. Avila was arrested after surveillance video and credit card charges identified him as the lead suspect, prosecutors said.

Avila was eventually convicted of nine counts of second-degree robbery, one count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and one count of child abuse.

Jurors also found true special allegations that Avila used a deadly and dangerous weapon -- a BB gun -- and that he inflicted great bodily injury.

For news as it happens in California, follow @JasonBretWells