Crime - Sacto 911

Man who wore ‘evil clown’ mask during robberies draws 58-year prison sentence

Evil clown mask
Evil clown mask Photo provided by Sacramento Police Department

A man dubbed the “evil clown-masked robber” by law enforcement authorities was sentenced Friday in Sacramento Superior Court to 58 years and four months in prison.

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

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, he entered the Better Trade Market on 12th Avenue in Sacramento armed with a handgun. Authorities said he demanded money from the cashier, then pointed the gun at 77-year-old Beldev Dhillon. Dhillon, a retired police officer from India, immediately grabbed for the gun. Although he missed the gun, Dhillon was able to snatch the mask from Sisunthone’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.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.