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Trio Nabbed After Robbery Spree Targeting CT Stores Statewide

The smoke shop in Stamford was robbed.
The smoke shop in Stamford was robbed. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

Three Connecticut men have been charged with committing at least eight robberies of convenience and smoke shops across the state earlier this year.

The three were indicted by a grand jury on Thursday, June 16 in New Haven County, said Vanessa Roberts Avery, US Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Those charged include Steven Galarza, age 24, of Seymour; Efrain Deleon, age 58, and Gilberto Deleon, age 56, both of New Britain, officials said.

As alleged in the indictment and other court documents, between February and March, the men, using fake firearms robbed the following retail locations of cash, cigarettes, and other items:

  • Feb. 27 – Scott’s Village Mobil Gas Station, Farmington
  • March 2 – Mystic Mobil Gas Station, Mystic
  • March 3 – Shell Gas Station, East Windsor
  • March 3 – Food Bag, Southington
  • March 5 – Valero Gas Stations, Ellington
  • March 5 – Sunoco Gas Station, Windsor
  • March 8 – Smoker’s Discount World, Wethersfield
  • March 16 – Cove Smoke Market, Stamford

The indictment charges each of the defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and eight counts of Hobbs Act robbery, the US Attorney's Office said.

If convicted, the men face a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.

The men were arrested on Tuesday, April 19. Efrain and Gilberto Deleon are detained and Galarza is released on a $50,000 bond.

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