Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento County jury convicts man accused of wearing 'evil clown' mask during robberies

A man dubbed the “evil clown-masked robber” by law enforcement authorities was convicted Wednesday by a Sacramento County jury.

Vanna Sisounthone, 46, was found guilty of three counts of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, two counts of false imprisonment and one count of assault with a firearm, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release. The jury also found that Sisounthone discharged the firearm during one robbery and used a firearm during the other crimes.

The charges stemmed from three armed robberies that occurred in January 2012. Sisounthone, who wore an “evil clown” mask on all three occasions, robbed multiple convenience store employees and patrons. During the first robbery, he fired the gun, narrowly missing a patron.

On Jan. 21, 2012, Sisounthone entered the Better Trade Market on 12th Avenue in Sacramento armed with a handgun. Authorities said he demanded money from the cashier and then pointed the gun at 77-year-old Beldev Dhillon. Dhillon, a retired police officer from India, grabbed for the gun. Although he missed the gun, he was able to snatch the mask from Sisounthone’s head. After a brief struggle, Sisounthone fled the market, leaving the mask behind.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Crime Lab was able to determine that the DNA found on the mask matched Sisounthone’s DNA.

Sisounthone is to be sentenced Sept. 19 before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ernest Sawtelle.