Men in Violent Robberies Try Prison Escape

Ryan McKnight and Robert Chavira were sent to prison for robberies in Fashion Valley and the Barona Casino

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    NBCSanDiego
    McKnight (L) and Chavira were convicted for their role in a series of "high-risk" armed robberies.

    Two men behind violent robberies in San Diego and across the state tried to escape prison according to the man who prosecuted the case.

    Ryan McKnight and Robert Chavira were convicted in November for a string of violent robberies including one at Fashion Valley in San Diego and another at Barona Casino in Lakeside.

    Brazen Jewelry Heist Caught on Tape

    [DGO] Brazen Jewelry Heist Caught on Tape
    Police are still searching for the suspects who they said robbed the Ben Bridge jewelry store in Fashion Valley on Sept.16, in a heist that played out like a Hollywood script. (Published Saturday, Oct 1, 2011)

    Now, one of the prosecutors involved in the case said McKnight and Chavira were involved in a failed prison escape.

    Prosecutor Rick Clabby said the two men tried to scale a fence at the state prison in Chino but did not get away with the daring prison break. 

    Barona Casino Robbed

    [DGO] Barona Casino Robbed
    Four men, armed with guns, robbed Barona Casino early Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011)

    McKnight and Chavira were considered brazen for the violence they exhibited in the robbery series.

    They used sledge hammers to smash open jewelry cases and steal expensive watches in a number of jewlery store robberies.

    When they struck in Fashion Valley in 2011, they drove a car onto the mall property to pull off the theft.

    In November 2011, the men fired a gun inside a crowded Barona Casino and smashed a large glass display case filled with money.