General Crime

2 Men Suspected of Breaking into Gas Station Arretsed in Big Sur

Two men who allegedly broke into a gas station, where one of them held a knife in front of an employee, and forced their way into a car in Big Sur were arrested early this morning, according to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies assigned to patrol the nearly 70,000-acre Soberanes Fire responded to a report of a burglary at a Shell gas station off of state Highway 1 in Big Sur shortly before 12:30 a.m., sheriff’s officials said. Arriving deputies spoke with an employee who told them he had found the store was broken into and multiple items were stolen, according to sheriff’s officials.

Soon after discovering the burglary, the employee saw a car enter the station and the driver, later identified as 34-year-old Eddie Criado, asked to buy gas, sheriff’s officials said. The employee told him the station was closed, and in response the driver said he wanted to buy milk for his child, according to sheriff’s officials.

The employee repeated the store was closed and the driver fled, but soon returned and brandished a knife as he approached the worker, sheriff’s officials said. The armed suspect then went inside the station and took a flavored water beverage before he drove away on Highway 1, according to sheriff’s officials.

A rear passenger, identified as 24-year-old Hector Vasquez, had acted as a lookout during the robbery, according to sheriff’s officials. As deputies were attending to the gas station employee, they were informed of an attempted gas theft had just happened at Nepenthe Restaurant just south of the gas station, sheriff’s officials said.

A sheriff’s sergeant responded to the restaurant, where both suspects were found hiding behind a car they broke into at the parking lot for Coast Gallery, according to sheriff’s officials. The sergeant also found Criado’s girlfriend, his 7-month-old child and another female passenger who were all in the car during the alleged thefts, sheriff’s officials said.

Investigators found stolen property from the alleged thefts along with suspected cocaine, according to sheriff’s officials. Criado and Vasquez, who live in the Fresno area, were arrested on suspicion of burglary, armed robbery, possession of cocaine and conspiracy, according to sheriff’s officials.

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