Man arrested in car crash, casino robberies

SAN JOSE — A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a series of San Jose robberies last month that included two attacks in casino parking lots and a string of cases where he allegedly rear-ended drivers to get them to stop so he could rob them, police said.

Brian Valverde, a San Jose resident, is being held without bail in the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of multiple counts of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft, according to the San Jose Police Department.

The first crime that police linked to Valverde was reported Dec. 27 and described as a robbery and vandalism near Blue Mountain Drive and Mount McKinley Drive in East San Jose. Police said the victim told responding officers that a man rear-ended her car with his car, took unspecified property from her, then threatened to shoot her he if she followed him.

Valverde is also suspected in a Jan. 5 robbery in the parking lot of the Bay 101 casino in which a woman reported someone pulling away her purse and running off.

On Jan. 23, an employee at Casino M8trix told police she was walking to her car when a white Mercedes-Benz pulled up followed by a man getting out of the vehicle and brandishing a knife at her. When the woman ran off, she said the man fired a gun at her, and that a projectile ricocheted and hit her in the heel of her shoe.

Police determined that the projectile was from a pellet gun, and now believe Valverde was the assailant in that incident.

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