NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) – A New Britain man pleaded guilty to committing 28 armed robberies and six carjacking offenses during a three-month crime spree on Wednesday.
According to court records, Christian Luis Velez-Ruiz, 25, admitted to committing 28 armed robberies of convenience stores, six carjacking offenses and other crimes in the state, between Sep. 2021 to Dec. 2021.
Velez-Ruiz waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to federal robbery, carjacking and firearm offenses before U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford, according to the Connecticut Department of Justice.
According to statements made in court, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Velez-Ruiz in Nov. 2021, he continued committing armed robberies.
On Dec. 17, 2021, law enforcement located Velez-Ruiz inside his car in a parking lot in New Britain. Police said he attempted to escape by ramming police vehicles before fleeing on foot.
A K9 pursuit ensued, and Ruiz-Velez was captured after he attempted to steal another vehicle, police said. Ruiz-Velez has been detained since his arrest, according to the police.
According to court documents, Ruiz-Velez took responsibility for all the offenses committed during the crime spree including one count of carjacking, two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
According to the police, Ruiz-Velez stole a 2020 white Jeep Grand Cherokee from a Southington victim on Sep. 26, 2021, when he robbed a Bristol store at a Sunoco gas station, officials said.
Police said he pistol-whipped a store employee and then stole cash and cigarettes from the store, according to police.
Court records stated Ruiz-Velez committed another robbery at a Citgo gas station in Southington on Oct. 7, 2021. Ruiz-Velez displayed a pistol in front of a store employee and stole cash and cigarettes.
Ruiz-Velez will be sentenced on March 24, 2023. He will face a mandatory minimum term of 14 years and a maximum term of life in prison.