On Friday evening, in a span of less than 24 minutes, two Guam businesses became the victims of an armed robbery.
Police said around 9:21 p.m. Friday, a masked man who was armed with a "rifle," which later turned out to be a pellet gun, entered Papa John's pizza shop in Mangilao and demanded money. Twenty-four minutes later, at about 9:45 p.m., a man fitting the description of the Mangilao armed robbery suspect walked into Loco Mart in Dededo, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded all of the cash from the register.
Loco Mart's store lost about $1,500. The cash register at Papa John's wouldn't open, so the defendant allegedly ran off with $7 from a tip jar, court documents state.
The robbery was captured on Loco Mart's video security camera.
Police and court documents have named Dennis Castro Aldan as the alleged gun-wielding suspect in both robberies.
While 44-year-old Aldan is presumed innocent until proven guilty in these two recent robbery cases, this convict should have been kept behind bars for the safety of our community.
In 2016, Aldan was described by the prosecution as a "career criminal" with more than 20 prior criminal cases and multiple felony convictions dating back to 1992.
Prior to these recent robberies, he was found guilty by a Superior Court of Guam jury for receiving, keeping and operating a stolen Toyota Corolla and possessing an amphetamine-based controlled substance in 2016.
Aldan appealed the conviction, and the Supreme Court of Guam ruled in favor of the defendant and sent the case back to the Superior Court for a retrial.
He was released by the court pending his retrial in the 2016 car theft and meth case.
Alleged accomplice recently freed
Victor John Deleon Guerrero, the 41-year-old accused in court documents of conspiring with Aldan, in part by providing the vehicle that was captured on camera as the alleged getaway car, had just been released from jail.
Deleon Guerrero pleaded guilty in a 2017 criminal case in which he admitted to targeting a tourist and stealing her property. On Jan. 4, Deleon Guerrero was released from jail after he was given credit for time served behind bars.
Deleon Guerrero already was on probation for a 2016 case. In that case, the prosecution asked the court to revoke Deleon Guerrero's probation after probation officers reported three probation violations. The court denied the revocation of Deleon Guerrero's probation, so he, like Aldan, remained free.
This time, the two convicts were booked and confined.
They face conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery, theft and other charges in the robberies at Loco Mart in Dededo and Papa John's in Mangilao.
We'll see what the court system does when these defendants once again ask to rejoin the community while awaiting their trial.