Wednesday Jun 13 2012
Man faces 22-year prison term for four Auburn, Weimar holdups
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Lukas Lambeth pleads no contest for string of Auburn-area holdups
AUBURN CA - A 22-year-old Auburn man linked to four armed robberies now faces a 22-year sentence after agreeing to a no-contest plea. The string of armed holdups took place from December 2010 to last summer, when Lukas George Lambeth was arrested Aug. 29 in Auburn. In his truck, investigators found a loaded .40-caliber Ruger and stolen loot from a robbery earlier in the day. Prosecutors alleged in documents filed with the court that Lambeth chambered a round in the Ruger for each of four robberies. No shots were fired. Lambeth will be sentenced June 25 on a string of felony counts and faces a prison term of up to 22 years, eight months. At a recent Placer County Court appearance, Lambeth was told by Judge Colleen Nichols that the actual term could be modified, based on a probation officer?s report. The Placer County District Attorney?s Office statement of facts outlines four robberies that Lambeth pleaded no contest to and admitted using a firearm in. The first robbery took place Dec. 20, 2010, at the Weimar Country Store on Paoli Lane east of Auburn. Lambeth entered with a round chambered in the Ruger and a magazine of bullets. ?He pointed the Ruger to the clerk?s head and demanded he open the register,? the District Attorney?s Office stated. After taking the money, Lambeth bound the wrists of both employees before fleeing in a pickup, prosecutors say. On Christmas Day 2011, Lambeth struck closer to home. He robbed the 7-Eleven on Fairgate Drive next to the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. Again, prosecutors noted a round was in the chamber and the Ruger was pointed at the clerk. The clerk?s hands were again bound before the robber left. On Jan. 11, 2011, the Chevron station on Lincoln Way in Auburn was hit. Lambeth donned a cap to cover his shoulder-length blond hair and again pulled out the loaded, silver Ruger. The clerk?s hands were bound with electrician?s tape and a newspaper delivery person, who had stumbled on the crime scene, was also bound. Lambeth?s next robbery took place Aug. 29. According to the court record, the holdup victim had stopped at Ashford Park, near the Foresthill exit off Interstate 80, to use the public restroom. Investigators reported Lambeth smashed the Cool resident?s windshield with the Ruger and then pointed the pistol to the man?s head. Lambeth demanded the man?s cell phone and wallet. After his arrest later in the day, Prosecutors said Lambeth told a co-conspirator while in Placer County Jail: ?If you say anything, I will put that gun to your head.? Lambeth was subsequently also charged and pleaded no contest to attempting to dissuade a witness through fear of force ? another felony. Each of the second-degree robbery charges Lambeth pleaded to carries a two-to-five-year sentence. He admitted to use of a firearm in each of the counts. A conviction on dissuading a witness carries a 16-months-to-three-years term. Lambeth also pleaded no contest on a misdemeanor vandalism charge related to the Aug. 29 window smashing. Lambeth was initially arrested on the Aug. 29 robbery charge but Auburn Police investigators noticed similarities in video surveillance and victims? description that led to connecting him to the other hold-ups. Lambeth is currently incarcerated in Placer County Jail, with bail set at $400,000.