Men charged in Hispanic business robbery spree

Prosecutors filed charges Feb. 17 against two local men for the targeted robbery of several Hispanic businesses on the Eastside and in Snohomish County over the past three months, including two in Kirkland.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office formally charged Kingsgate resident Luis Fernando Koyoc-ek, 33, and Woodinville resident Oscar Chavarria-Sotelo, 24, with eight counts of first-degree robbery in Superior Court.

Kirkland Police Lt. Mike Ursino said investigators from five law enforcement agencies coordinated the on-going investigation of Koyoc-ek and Sotelo, who were both arrested at their homes and held at the Kirkland jail Feb. 12.

Bail was set at $100,000 for Koyoc-ek and $50,000 for Chavarria-Sotelo.

According to prosecutors, the crime spree began on Nov. 30 in Redmond when Koyoc-ek and Sotelo threatened staff at Preciado Northwest with a gun. The men also struck Mi Tierra restaurant and store at gunpoint Jan. 16 near the Totem Square Shopping Center in Kirkland, and Tres Hermanos market twice in uncorporated King County. Neither of the men wore gloves and police later tracked them down using fingerprints from a tip jar.

Editor Carrie Wood contributed to this report.

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