Arraignment for Indio man accused in robberies and burglaries across the valley
Updated On: Jan 04 2013 11:35:48 AM CST
An Indio man accused of robberies and burglaries across the Coachella Valley was scheduled to be arraigned today.
Samuel David Lawson Jr., 40, was charged Monday with 47 felony counts -- mostly robbery and burglary --- and one misdemeanor battery count for alleged crimes stretching back to August 2011. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Victoria Cameron set Lawson's bail at $11 million when he made his first court appearance Monday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, and rescheduled his arraignment for today, according to court records.
Lawson was arrested about 1 a.m. Dec. 27 on suspicion of committing a burglary in the 74000 block of Country Club Drive in Palm Desert.
Lawson had "key pieces of evidence" that tied him to armed robberies and commercial burglaries throughout the valley, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Tom Brewster said.
Information obtained through search warrants for Lawson's vehicles and residence implicated Lawson in armed robberies at fast food restaurants and gas station convenience stores and burglaries at businesses from August 2011 until Thursday, Brewster said.
According to the criminal complaint, Lawson allegedly used tear gas when he robbed Perez Images, an adult video store in Cathedral City, in September 2012. He allegedly burglarized multiple Coachella Valley businesses, including Palm Desert Cyclery, LensCrafters and Gucci in Palm Desert, Lumpy's Golf Supplies in La Quinta and several optometry offices. He allegedly robbed businesses including Bower Security in Palm Desert, a Palm Springs International Airport kiosk, Pizza Hut in Palm Desert and Carl's Jr. in Indio, Palm Desert and Cathedral City.
If convicted, Lawson could face life in prison because he has three strikes, according to John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
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