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Serial armed robber sentenced to prison

Serial armed robber sentenced to prison

John Torales of Farmersville robbed seven convenience stores in less than one month in 2015

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – A serial armed robber from Farmersville who has terrorized convenience store clerks for the last decade was sentenced to 81 years in prison last week.

On Nov. 5, Tulare County Superior Court Judge Joseph Kalashian sentenced John Torales, 29, of Visalia and Farmersville, to 81 years and 8 months for armed robbery. The decision came more than a year after Torales was convicted of six counts of robbery and six counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, each with gang and firearm enhancements on June 7, 2017.

Torales was found guilty by a different jury on Aug. 24, 2016 for two charges related to the same case. That conviction was for a robbery with a charge for assault with a semiautomatic firearm, two counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of masked criminal possession of a firearm in public, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Each count carried gang and firearm enhancements.

Additionally, Torales was found to possess a strike for robbery in 2008, a serious felony conviction for that robbery, and two prior prison commitments for robbery, burglary, and failure to register as a gang member, and contraband in a jail facility.
Torales committed the seven robberies between June 17, 2015 and July 3, 2015 at gas stations and convenience stores in Tulare County and the southern part of Fresno County. Each robbery occurred in the same manner where Torales brazenly entered between the hours of midnight and 4:30am, pointed a semiautomatic handgun at the clerks while attempting to conceal his identity, demanded money from the registers, and fled. In most of the robberies the clothing was the same, Torales demeanor and mannerisms were the same, as well as his language.

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