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Men plead not guilty to conspiring to rob armored car business

August 15, 2012 2:06:23 PM PDT
Three Santa Rosa men pleaded not guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court this morning to conspiring to rob millions of dollars this month from an armored car service that was also previously robbed a year ago.

Monico Dominguez, 39, Juan Dominguez, 26, and 33-year-old Shawn Geernaert pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping with the intent to rob the Garda Armored Car Service in southwest Santa Rosa on Aug. 6. Santa Rosa police arrested them the next day.

Monico Dominguez also is charged with robbing the armored car service of $1 million on Aug. 11, 2011. He pleaded not guilty this morning to two counts each of kidnapping and robbery in connection with that incident, and to soliciting someone to commit criminal acts.

All three defendants are being held in the Sonoma County jail under bail between $1 million and $5 million.

At a bail review hearing this morning, Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner disclosed details about the robbery last year and the alleged conspiracy to rob the armored car service this month.

Waner said Monico Dominguez and other unnamed defendants who have not been charged with the robbery were wearing body armor and carrying assault weapons when they robbed Garda Armored Car Service of $1 million last year.

The masked robbers ducked under a door that was closing after an armored car entered the building at 1650 Northpoint Parkway.

The thieves left with approximately $1 million but left several million dollars behind, Waner said.

Monico Dominguez conspired with Juan Dominguez and Geernaert to rob the armored car service again, Waner said. To make sure that millions of dollars would not be left behind, the plan was to drive away in an armored car and hide it in a "safe harbor", Geernaert's cabinet shop, Waner said.

"This is a huge, sophisticated conspiracy," he said.

Geernaert's attorney Joe Stogner said his client, who was acquainted with Monico Dominguez, knew nothing about the planned Aug. 6 robbery. He asked Judge Robert LaForge to reduce Geernaert's bail from $1 million to $100,000 and allow him to be supervised under electronic home confinement when he posts bail.

Stogner said Geernaert and his family have "deep connections in the community" and he asked the 20 people who were in court to support him, including one law enforcement officer, to stand up.

Waner objected to lowering Geernaert's bail. He said law enforcement intercepted communications between Geernaert and the alleged co-conspirators that the robbery was going to happen and that Geernaert would allow access to his cabinet shop. The judge kept bail at $1 million.

The three defendants will return to court Aug. 22 to set a preliminary hearing date.


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