Teens arrested for 6 armed robberies in Salem area, police say

Two teenagers were arrested Monday in what police described as a string of armed robberies at Salem-area businesses.

The Salem Police Department said Monday afternoon that the teens robbed six businesses over a three-week period starting on Nov. 17. “In each incident, the suspects brandished guns at employees and demanded money,” the agency wrote in a news release.

Prosecutors charged Nestor G. Hernandez-Juarez, 19 of Salem, on Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court with five counts of first-degree robbery, according to court records. The Marion County Jail’s roster showed he was being held without bail as of Wednesday afternoon.

A 17-year-old boy was also lodged at the Marion County Juvenile Department on six counts of first-degree robbery, six counts of unlawful use of a weapon and six counts of menacing, according to the Salem police statement.

The agency said it does not identify minors involved in criminal investigations. Juvenile court records are generally confidential under state law.

Four of the robberies occurred in Salem city limits while two others happened in unincorporated Marion County, according to the statement. The agency did not name the businesses robbed.

The arrests came after SWAT teams from Salem police, the sheriff’s office and Oregon State Police searched three locations in Salem.

Police said they found three handguns, two of which the teens used during the robberies.

“No further information is available for release as the case remains under investigation,” according to the statement.

A report recently released by the city of Salem showed a rapid rise in gun violence involving teens as both perpetrators and victims, with the number arrested for serious assaults tripling in the past three years. Researchers who conducted the study looked only at shootings and did not include other gun crimes like armed robbery in their report.

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

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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.