ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- An Odessa man was arrested earlier this week on a warrant for his alleged role in an armed robbery at a nail salon earlier this year. Cesar Ruben Gardea, Jr., 19, has been charged with two counts of Aggravated Robbery. He was identified as a second suspect in the crime after he was found driving a vehicle tied to the incident.
According to court documents, on February 17, officers with the Odessa Police Department responded to Vida Nails and Salon in the 3100 block of E University to investigate an armed robbery. At the scene, officers met with two salon employees who said they had been robbed at gunpoint by two unknown men.
The victims said that earlier in the day, one of the men, later identified as 18-year-old Isaac Avery Burford, visited the salon with a woman who was having her nails done. While inside the salon, one of the employees said he overheard Burford speaking to someone on the phone about wanting to buy guns. Later that day, the employee said he texted Burford about guns he had for sale and the two agreed to meet at the salon later to complete the purchase.
Burford and Gardea arrived at the scene in a brown Lincoln Towncar and met the two employees in the parking lot- Gardea was identified as the owner of this vehicle earlier this month.
After the victims showed Burford and Gardea the guns, which were located in the trunk of a car, Burford reportedly pulled a shotgun on the pair and told them to walk away from their vehicle. Burford and Gardea then allegedly grabbed the guns, listed as a gold-plated Alpha Zastava Z92 AK-47 and a gold-plated Palmetto PSAK AK-47, and left the scene without paying.
Police later traced the number used to set up the purchase back to Burford and a warrant was issued for his arrest. On April 27, OPD, along with a SWAT team arrested Burford at a home in the 1300 block of N Whitaker. While executing the arrest warrant, police found about seven grams worth of THC in Burford’s bedroom. He has been charged with Aggravated Robbery and Possession and has remained in custody since his arrest; his bond has been set at a combined $220,000.
Gardea was taken into custody on November 8; his bond has been set at a combined $160,000.