Two 19-year-olds sentenced to prison for June 2022 robberies 

A Marion County Circuit Judge sentenced two Salem teens to state prison this week, nine months after they were arrested in what police described as a string of robberies. 

One of the teens shot at a southeast Salem home a day earlier in June 2022, but  wasn’t charged with the shooting until this Wednesday, according to court documents. 

On Wednesday, March 15, Giovany A. Cruz, 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree robbery, tampering with a witness and unlawful use of a weapon. Marion County Circuit Judge J. Channing Bennett sentenced him to 10 years and ten months in prison, according to court records.

Cruz was also sentenced to eight years of post-prison supervision. Prosecutors dismissed two counts of second-degree robbery, unauthorized use of a vehicle and third-degree assault as part of his plea deal, court records showed.

Reimundo Aispuro, 19, pleaded guilty on Thursday, to two counts of second-degree robbery. Bennett sentenced him to five years and ten months in prison.

Aispuro was sentenced to six years of post-prison supervision. Prosecutors dropped two counts of second-degree robbery and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Both teens robbed the same two people while threatening physical force, according to court records.

Cruz was detained the day the robberies occurred and both men were suspects in the June 2022 robberies for months, but weren’t arrested and charged until September.

The Salem Police Department provided the following account of the shooting and robberies in affidavits and a news release.

Salem police responded just after 11 p.m. on June 16, 2022, to a report of gunfire at their home on the 200 block of Southeast Kashmir Court, the department said in a news release at the time.

Nobody was injured in the shooting. Multiple rounds struck the outside and interior of the home, and one round was found in a bedroom where a child was sleeping.

Less than three hours after the shooting around 1:42 a.m., a man reported to police that four males had robbed him in the area of Northeast Lancaster Drive and Monroe Avenue, according to an affidavit.

The man told police he had been walking back to his house when he saw a white car with four males inside, all wearing black with blue masks covering the lower parts of their faces.

He reported that the group told him to empty his pockets and give up his wallet. The driver searched the victim’s pockets, giving the other passengers the man’s wallet and beer.

A passenger then told the man to give him the coat he was wearing, the man told police, adding that the same passenger threatened to shoot him during the robbery and they all shouted for him to listen.

Seven minutes later at 1:49 a.m., police responded to a report of an armed robbery on Northeast Market Street. 

A woman told police she had been walking near Northeast 45th Avenue when a dark sedan pulled over to the opposite side of the road. The driver and driver-side back passenger got out, according to a Salem police affidavit.

She reported one of the two had a gun and someone demanded she give them all of her property. She gave them her fanny pack, AirPod case and black LG cell phone.

Later that morning – after a string of robberies, a shooting and a car theft “all involving similar details” – police found a Ford Focus in the area of Northeast Hawthorne Avenue and Northeast Wayside Terrace which matched the car involved in most of the incidents, the report said. 

A Salem officer pulled up to several suspects standing around the white car as well as a second vehicle stolen earlier that morning. When the officer turned on his lights and tried to stop them, they all fled on foot before police detained four nearby, including Cruz and 19-year-old Matthew L. Gauntt. 

Officers found a stolen semi-automatic handgun in the path the suspects ran through, the affidavit said. Serving a warrant, police also searched the Ford Focus the next day and found a replica Glock pistol with an extended magazine.

Police later interviewed witnesses and reviewed files from cell phones belonging to people involved in the incidents. They found video showing members of the group, including Aispuro, stalking and robbing a “male juvenile,” who told police he did not want to press charges but recalled the incident, according to the report.

Salem detectives also determined Gauntt had a disagreement with a person who lived in the home that had been shot at, the department said in its news release.

A grand jury indicted Gauntt on July 18, 2022, in Marion County Circuit Court on charges of attempted second-degree murder, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon, five counts of recklessly endangering another person, first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree robbery and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

The Salem police made no mention of Cruz when they announced Gauntt’s arrest for shooting at the home. But the day that Cruz was sentenced to prison for the robberies, he was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to shooting at the same home.

Police arrested Cruz on Sept. 6 and Aispuro on Sept. 14.

Gauntt’s charges allege that he targeted a woman in the shooting, robbed a man while threatening that he was armed, threatened to shoot two other people and drove a Toyota 4Runner without the owner’s consent, according to court records.

He was indicted on additional changes of first-degree criminal mischief and three counts of second degree robbery on Oct. 6. He is accused of causing over $5,000 in damage to the 4Runner. 

Court proceedings are scheduled for April 14.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Salem teen arrested for robbing man in June

Salem teen charged in two June robberies

Man who shot at Salem home charged with attempted murder Tuesday, police say

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

JUST THE FACTS, FOR SALEM – We report on your community with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe to Salem Reporter. Click I want to subscribe!

Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.