Monday, April 14, 2008

Police nab three in robbery spree


Santa Barbara police arrested three suspects after they went on a string of attacks that started at the labor line on Yanonali Street and ended near the Amtrak station, authorities said.
At 11:35 p.m. on Sunday, officers headed to the 400 block of Garden Street after receiving reports of a robbery with a knife. The victim at the scene told police he had been riding his bike eastbound near the labor line at 500 E. Yanonali St. when three men attacked him.

One man grabbed the victim’s backpack as he passed, Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte said, yanking him off his bicycle. The victim heard a knife flick open and one of the suspects yell in Spanish for him to give up his bike. Sgt. Duarte said the victim grabbed a baseball bat from his backpack and threatened the suspects, who then fled with the bag and the bike.
As officers drove toward the labor line to investigate the crime scene, another victim with visible abrasions on his face flagged them down near the Garden Street underpass. He told police a group of men stole his backpack and bike near the labor line, Sgt. Duarte said. That victim was taken to the hospital and admitted.
During their investigation of the second attack, emergency dispatchers informed officers that a third robbery victim had called from the Amtrak station and told authorities he was with another person who claimed to have a broken arm.
During their investigation at the Amtrak station, police received a very general statement from the victim with the hurt arm and ultimately determined he was a suspect in the previous robberies, Sgt. Duarte said.
As officers continued to sort out the complicated case, they decided to conduct a quick canvass of the railroad tracks near Rancheria Street and found two men who matched the descriptions of the robbery suspects. Police recovered a set of box cutters tossed away by one suspect, authorities said.
After the victims positively identified the suspects and authorities discovered they had one of the stolen bicycles in their possession, police arrested Julio Hernandez, 35, Pedro Razo, 41, and Rogelio Manzanarez, 23, for robbery, attempted robbery and battery.

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