Men face armed-robbery trial

BURBANK — A Superior Court judge ordered two men to stand trial after hearing testimony Friday from a Glendale store manager who said the men robbed a tobacco store at gunpoint and forced patrons into a corner.

Jack Felix, 18, and Brandon Cerda, 22, will go to trial Dec. 19 for allegedly stealing $400 in cash and $27,000 worth of lighters from Planet Tobacco and ordering store manager and four patron at gunpoint to adhere to their demands.

Cerda’s attorney Richard Trejo asked Judge Patrick Hegarty to dismiss the case because of insufficient evidence, but his request was denied.

Store manager Serge Avakians identified Felix and Cerda in court as the men who robbed him on Aug. 23 inside the store on the 1200 block of West Glenoaks Boulevard.

He was working alone at about 7 p.m. when he said Felix and Cerda entered the store and demanded money from the cash register.

“They pointed a gun at me, and they gave me a duffel bag,” Avakians testified.

Felix wore a baseball cap and black sunglasses, and Cerda wore a motorcycle helmet with black sunglasses, Avakians said.

They ordered him to open the register, Avakians said, and he put $400 inside the duffel bag as Felix stood two to three feet away from him and pointed a gun at him.

After he put the money inside the bag, he said they pointed at an ST Dupont lighter inside a glass display case and demanded him to place all the name-brand lighters inside the bag.

The total value of the stolen lighters was about $27,000, Avakians said.

As Felix and Cerda ransacked the store, two female customers walked in, Avakians said. They forced the women to sit in a corner of the store, he said.

Minutes later, two male customers entered and were made to stand next to the women, he said.

Felix and Cerda then fled, and he called the police, Avakians said.

Avakians was unable to identify Felix in an initial photo lineup, but Avakians said he was able to identify Felix as the thief in a second lineup because the photo was clearer.

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