On April 8, San Benito County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Marshall’s Market, 300 Carpenteria Road in Aromas, regarding a possible armed robbery that had just occurred.
Upon arrival, Sgt Mull contacted an adult male victim who advised an unknown Hispanic male adult pointed a handgun at him in the parking lot area of Marshall’s Market. The suspect male demanded the victim’s wallet. The victim refused and ran into the store to call 911. The victim explained the suspect fled in an older white Toyota Camry. The suspect was also said to have a “W” tattoo on his cheek.
Understanding the dynamic that suspects from other jurisdictions come into our county to commit crimes, the sheriff’s office reached out to members of the Watsonville Police Department and the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force (SCCGTF) for help in identifying a possible suspect. Officers from WPD and members of the SCCGTF began to research possible suspects and were also on the lookout for a similar vehicle and suspect that may have returned to the Watsonville area.
Within a short period of time, our office was contacted by a member of the SCCGTF to advise WPD had a similar car, and male, stopped in the area of 485 Holohan Rd in Watsonville. Sgt Mull transported the victim to the City of Watsonville where the victim positively identified Carlos MALDONADO (picture attached) as the suspect in the robbery. Maldonado was wearing the same clothing, and was in the same car as he was during the commission of the robbery in Aromas. The handgun used was also recovered at the scene of WPD’s stop.
Carlos Maldanado was arrested and booked into the San Benito County Jail. Watsonville Police also have a case on Maldanado as a result of their contact. As of the time of this report, it is unknown what charges, if any, Maldanado will face in Santa Cruz County.
This case documents the importance of our working relationship with local agencies and our reliance on each other. It was the proactive work, and great communication, from our office, the Watsonville Police Department and the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force that this case was brought to a safe closure.