Two Arrested Wednesday May Be Connected With Barona Casino Robbery

The men may be linked to other crimes, including a theft from a Mission Valley jewelry store.

Two men arrested Wednesday may be connected to a series of robberies including

Ryan McKnight, 34, and Robert Chavira, 40, were taken into custody by San Diego police on Wednesday. Both were on active parole and were arrested for parole violations, according to a news release from San Diego Police Department Thursday.

Searches for evidence after the arrests may indicate the men were connected to the Barona robbery, in which an undisclosed amount of money in a promotional booth was stolen by armed robbers, as well as a theft from Ben Bridge Jewelry store in Mission Valley in September.

McKnight and Chavira have also been identified as suspects in jewelry store robberies in San Jose and in Riverside county, according to the news release.

The men have been booked into county jail.

Santee Detective Sgt. Tom Poulin told Patch on Thursday that the amount of cash stolen from Barona has not been determined yet, pending the results of the crime lab work.

Roadblocks were placed at the Lakeside and San Diego Country Estates ends of Wildcat Canyon Road for about an hour following the 2:20 a.m. Barona robbery Wednesday. Poulin said he did not know whether patrol deputies searched or blocked any of the unpaved roads that may lead off the Barona Indian Reservation.

The robbers abandoned a black SUV on Wildcat Canyon Road, leaving a small amount of cash in the vehicle, Poulin said.

"We believe they took another car south," he said.

Since the amounts of cash stolen and left in the vehicle have not been reported, it is unclear whether the robbers took any of it with them.


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