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Prison Given in Bid to Rob Pizza Carrier

January 11, 1986

A Sylmar man who tried to rob an undercover policeman who was posing as a pizza deliveryman pleaded guilty Friday to attempted robbery and was sentenced to 16 months in state prison.

Ruben Barrientos, 22, and two juveniles tried to set up the robbery by having a Domino's Pizza outlet deliver food to a vacant house on Lucas Street in San Fernando shortly before midnight on Dec. 7, Deputy Dist. Atty. Harold Lynn said.

The van carrying the pizza also delivered eight police officers. They had been conducting an undercover operation in the San Fernando Valley to combat a series of robberies against the pizza chain, Lynn said.

"They were just going on every call because it was so epidemic," Lynn said. "They figured if they rode around long enough, they would find someone."

As an officer acting as deliveryman stepped from the van, three assailants came toward him, one carrying a club and another with his face covered by a scarf, Lynn said. The three came within five feet of the officer before lights from a passing car startled them and they began to run, he said.

The juveniles were arrested at the scene. Barrientos, whom one of the officers recognized, was arrested a short time later, Lynn said.

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