Santa Cruz police detectives arrested a 22-year-old man Tuesday night on suspicion of robbing and assaulting an 80-year-old woman in late July. Joseph Choe was arrested at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday near Capitola. Police suspect him of robbing the victim on July 30 and then using her stolen credit card a short time later at a nearby gas station.The attack happened at about 10:40 a.m. on July 30.
The woman, who is legally blind, was knocked to the ground from behind and had her purse taken, police said. She suffered minor injuries.Less than 30 minutes later, someone used the woman’s stolen credit card to buy cigarettes and other items at a Valero gas station on Ocean Street, police said.The purchaser was captured on a surveillance camera at the gas station.
Investigators released the footage to the media and police soon received multiple tips identifying Choe as the suspect, police said. Investigators learned Choe had traveled to Washington where he was staying with family after fleeing Santa Cruz, according to police. However, detectives also found out that he was returning to the area, and apprehended him on Tuesday.Choe was booked into Santa Cruz County jail for robbery, elder abuse and credit card fraud, police said.
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