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Two Santa Cruz residents tied up by a pair of masked robbery suspects Wednesday morning freed themselves, fought the suspects and pinned one down until police arrived, a Santa Cruz police spokesman said. A man and a woman living in a house in the 500 block of Poplar Avenue were awakened early Wednesday by two males with their faces covered who demanded cash, Santa Cruz police Deputy Chief Steve Clark said.
One of the suspects held a screwdriver, the other a decorative sword taken from inside the home, Clark said. Both suspects demanded cash and tried and failed to bind the couple with duct tape they found in the home that was old and brittle, Clark said. They then resorted to tying the couple with an electrical cord, Clark said. After the two intruders learned there were children in the home, they allegedly threatened to harm them, police said. The adult residents freed themselves and fought with the suspects for some time before one of the children called 911 at about 4:25 a.m., police said.
The man and woman bravely retaliated against the robbery suspects, Clark said. “We think it was the threat to the kids that pushed them over the edge,” Clark said. One of the suspects fled the home with some valuables but the two residents were able to hold down the other suspect in their front yard until officers arrived, Clark said. Police arrested the suspect, Cuactemoc Xilonzochilt-Zamora, 28, of Santa Cruz, on suspicion of robbery, burglary, false imprisonment, possession of methamphetamine and assault with a deadly weapon and booked him into the Santa Cruz County Jail.
Officers were unable to locate the other suspect after searching the neighborhood but have leads as to his identity, Clark said. The adult residents had minor injuries from fighting the suspects but did not require medical treatment. The missing suspect is described as a Hispanic male, about 25 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 to 170 pounds with a dark complexion.
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