Police in Santa Cruz arrested a 20-year-old homeless man suspected of stealing liquor from a store early Thursday morning. Officers responded about 12:40 a.m. to a report of a physical fight on the corner of Front and Laurel streets, according to police. Witnesses told police a suspect went to a business in the 800 block of Pacific Avenue to buy alcohol, but was denied because he did not have an ID or money to pay for it, police said. The suspect left the store but returned minutes later and appeared to steal something, prompting an employee and another customer to chase him out of the store for a few blocks. Witnesses said the suspect then threatened and flashed a knife at the customer and employee before running towards Soquel Avenue. Officers established a perimeter around Soquel Avenue and found a man matching the description of the suspect in the city parking garage on Soquel and Front streets, police said. As an officer tried to detain the suspect, he ran across Soquel
Street and through the parking lots parallel to Front Street. The officer eventually caught up with him and apprehended him near the corner of Cathcart and Front streets, police said. The suspect was positively identified as Sean Daniel Kobayashi and was booked into Santa Cruz County jail for robbery and fleeing from officers. A knife believed to have belonged to Kobayashi was found on the corner of Soquel and Front streets. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the investigations section of the Police Department at (831) 420-5820. Anonymous information can be left on the tip line at (831) 420-5995.
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