Watsonville police arrest two teenagers on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery

Bay City News
Monday, September 7, 2015

WATSONVILLE, Calif. -- Police arrested two teenagers after they allegedly kidnapped a driver and forced him to take them to a gas station in Watsonville, where they tried to rob the store on Sunday night, police said.

At about 11:53 p.m., officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at an ARCO gas station, located at 298 Green Valley Road, according to police.

While en route, officers learned that customers and employees had detained one of the suspects at the store and that a white Volkswagen Jetta was possibly being used as a getaway vehicle, police said.

When officers arrived on scene, they saw the Jetta driving away from the store but were able to stop the car and detain the vehicle's occupants, according to police.

While the vehicle was being stopped, police said another team of officers, along with Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies, entered the store and arrested the suspect, who was being detained by customers and employees.

Police said the ordeal began when the suspects kidnapped the driver of the Jetta earlier in the night and forced him to drive them to the gas station, police said.

The driver was in his car downtown and had come to a stop when police said the two suspects opened his car door.

One of the suspects pointed a pistol at the victim's head, while the other held a knife to his throat, police said.

They robbed the victim of his money and then forced him to drive to the ARCO gas station, threatening to kill him if he did not comply, police said.

One of the suspects went into the store to commit the robbery while the other suspect stayed in the vehicle with the victim, according to


Witnesses told police that the suspect entered the store, using his shirt to partially cover his face, police said. He took out the pistol and pointed it at a clerk, demanding money, according to police.

A group of customers and employees were able to wrestle the pistol out of the teen's hand and tackled him, pinning him on the floor, police said. The group was able to hold the teen down until officers arrived.

Police said they were able to recover the pistol and money the suspect had tried to steal.

The suspects, a 15- and 17-year-old, were both arrested on suspicion of kidnapping during the course of a carjacking, robbery, conspiracy, criminal threats, numerous firearm violations and gang enhancements, police said.

The pair has been booked into juvenile hall, according to police.