A man and woman were arrested following an armed robbery that led police on a vehicle and foot pursuit in Watsonville Saturday night, a police sergeant said. Officers responded to a report of an armed robbery in the area of the first block of Arista Lane around 8:40 p.m., Sgt. Henry Robles said. The armed suspect was seen leaving the area with a female in an old, white “low rider type” vehicle traveling towards Atkinson Lane, Robles said.
The victim gave officers the suspect vehicle’s partial license plate, Robles said. About five minutes, later members from the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force assisting Watsonville police spotted the suspect vehicle on Atkinson Lane, according to Robles. The driver of the suspect vehicle led officer on a pursuit north on Freedom Boulevard and continued through city streets to a dead-end at Holly Drive, he said.
The suspect discarded a firearm from the vehicle on Holly Drive then abandoned the car, Robles said. The female suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Watsonville resident Rocio Castillo, was arrested at the scene, according to Robles. The male suspect continued to flee on foot against police orders and went over a fence on Anna Street. A perimeter was established in the area of Holm Road and Anna Street, Robles said. A short time later, a resident in the 100 block of Anna Street reported that an unknown male suspect entered a home and officers were deployed to that location, according to Robles.
The suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Watsonville resident Benjamin Robles Chavez, was found hiding in a bathroom and refused to surrender to police, Robles said. A K-9 unit bit Chavez after officers forced their way into the bathroom and took him into custody. Chavez was transported to Watsonville Community Hospital to be treated for his injuries, police said.
Chavez was arrested on suspicion of robbery, criminal conspiracy, felon in possession of a firearm, criminal street gang member in possession of a firearm, resisting or delaying a police officer, possession of methamphetamine, parole violation, evading a police officer and reckless driving. Castillo was arrested on suspicion of robbery, criminal conspiracy, and possession of methamphetamine.
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