Two women were arrested in Watsonville Tuesday night after allegedly robbing a woman of her backpack while she was riding her bicycle, police said. The 19-year-old female victim was biking into town on East Lake Avenue at about 5 p.m. when a car pulled out in front of her, police said. The passenger, 20-year-old Shaddia Verner of La Selva Beach, exited the car and confronted the woman about a previous incident before words escalated into a physical altercation. After the fight, the vehicle’s driver, 21-year-old Vanessa Orona of Watsonville, instructed Verner to grab the victim’s backpack, police said. Verner allegedly used force to take the backpack, which contained an undisclosed amount of cash and personal property, and the two suspects fled the scene, according to police. The victim contacted police and led them to a home on Cirvelo Street where she believed one of the suspects lived. The residents initially denied that the suspects were inside the home, but after police set up a perimeter around the home and stated a search warrant was being prepared, the two suspects exited the home and surrendered to police. A search of the home recovered some of the victim’s property and cash. Verner and Orona were booked into Santa Cruz County jail for robbery, police said. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Watsonville police tip line at (831) 728-3544 or the investigations bureau at (831) 768-3350.
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