Man gets community service in armed robbery 

San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy
San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy

A man charged with brandishing a gun at a loss-prevention officer who confronted him about stealing merchandise pleaded guilty to a pair of charges last week. 

Judge David Stuart sentenced Fernando Cruz, 53, of Reseda, to 30 days of community labor and two years’ probation for committing the gunpoint robbery in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Newhall Ranch Road in March 2023. 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies initially responded to investigate what was reported as an assault with a deadly weapon. 

Witnesses reported Cruz purchased a tool set, left the business, then returned, grabbed another copy of the toolset and fraudulently returned the stolen tool set. He left the business with $152.  

When Cruz was approached by a loss-prevention officer on the way out the door, the employee reported that Cruz flashed a gun and drove away. 

SCV Sheriff’s Station detectives ultimately were able to obtain a photo of Cruz, figure out his real identity — which did not match the name on the card he used — and later determined that he committed a similar crime at the Canyon Country Home Depot. 

Deputies seized a number of weapons at Cruz’s home that ultimately were destroyed by court order after Cruz’s conviction, as he is now prohibited from owning firearms. 

A shoplifting charge against Cruz was dropped as a term of his plea deal. 

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