General Crime

Watsonville Police Arrest 3 Suspects in Brutal Armed Robbery

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Police in Watsonville announced Thursday the arrests of an adult and two juveniles, including one living at a state university, in an armed robbery where a store clerk was badly beaten with a baseball bat, police said. On Sept. 7 at 9:32 p.m., Watsonville police responded to a reported armed robbery at the La Tiendita Market at 675 Rodriguez St. and there found the clerk bleeding profusely from a head injury, Sgt. Eric Montalbo said.

Two men, one carrying a baseball bat, had entered the store and without warning, the one with the bat stuck the clerk several times with it, police reported. The suspects robbed cash from the store register and fled on foot.

The clerk suffered a fractured skull and was flown to the trauma center of a Bay Area hospital for treatment, according to Montalbo.

On Sept. 11, police released surveillance video of the robbery to the new media and within two days, citizens provided investigators with tips that identified one suspect and led police to track down a second one, Montalbo said.

One of the suspects, a male juvenile, was located on Tuesday living with his girlfriend at the California State University, Monterey Bay in Monterey and officers, assisted by university police, arrested him after he left the campus, police reported.

Soon afterwards, a separate team of Watsonville officers caught up to and arrested the second suspect, 20-year-old Crecencio Ramirez, where he worked in Castroville, according to police.

Investigators continued to gather evidence, interview the suspects and new witnesses Tuesday night and then identified a 17-year-old male suspected of hitting the clerk with the bat who had fled to Southern California.

The team of detectives traced the minor to Coachella, traveled there overnight, contacted the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in the early morning and with the assistance of deputies located and arrested the teen suspect at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Montalbo said.

The juvenile was transferred to the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall late Wednesday night, police said. All three suspects have been booked on suspicion of robbery, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit robbery, Montalbo said. Police are requesting that anyone with information on this case to call the department’s crime tip line at (831) 728-3544 or the investigation bureau at (831) 768-3352.

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