Two women who allegedly took part in the armed robbery of a Coachella cell phone store, with one of the defendants later leading sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit that ended with an injury crash, must stand trial on felony counts that include robbery, kidnapping and evading arrest, a judge ruled Thursday.
Mary Helen Delara, 29, of Coachella, and Deana Romero, 49, of Thermal, are accused in the March 7 armed robbery of a Metro PCS store at 52669 Harrison St.
Delara additionally faces charges in a Thermal crash that happened hours after the alleged robbery, which injured Delara and two other men in the car.
She’s accused of entering the Metro PCS store around noon wearing a black ski mask and brandishing a handgun, and allegedly making off with about $500 in cash, along with a cell phone from one of the store clerks, according to an arrest warrant declaration.
She allegedly made her getaway in a minivan driven by Romero, alleged to have received about $160 for her part in the robbery, the declaration said.
Delara was later spotted around 1:45 p.m. in a different vehicle, a gold Mazda Protege driven by a man, the declaration states. Delara was lying in the backseat, according to the declaration, while two men sat up front.
The Mazda driver sped off after deputies attempted to stop the car, triggering a pursuit that ended when he lost control of the sedan while headed westbound on Airport Boulevard in Thermal.
The car went onto the right shoulder, then veered back onto Airport Boulevard, where it broadsided a pickup truck in the eastbound lanes, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Radford.
The declaration states that during the chase, “a CHP aviation unit and several deputies observed the female occupant take control of the vehicle, and the driver of the vehicle attempting to fight her off.”
Delara and the two men were hospitalized, while the pickup driver was uninjured.
Both women are due back in court Dec. 21 for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment.
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