On Saturday, April 9 at approximately 11:25 a.m., San Benito County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Marshall's Market at 300 Carpenteria Rd. in Aromas, regarding a possible armed robbery that had just occurred.
Upon arrival, Sgt. Mull contacted an adult male victim who advised that an unknown Hispanic male adult pointed a handgun at him in the parking lot area of Marshall's Market , according to a report from the Sheriff's Office. The suspect male allegedly demanded the victim’s wallet and the victim refused and ran into the store to call 911. The victim said that the suspect, who had a "W" tattoo on his cheek, fled in an older, white Toyota Camry.
"Understanding the dynamic that suspects from other jurisdictions come into our county to commit crimes, our 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," the report said. Officers from Watsonville and members of the gang task force 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 time, the sheriff's office was contacted by a member of the task force to advise that Watsonville police had a similar car, and male, stopped in the area of 485 Holohan Rd. in Watsonville. Mull transported the victim to that city where the victim positively identified Carlos Maldonado as the suspect in the robbery. Maldonado was wearing the same clothing, and was in the same car as he was alleged to have been in during the commission of the robbery in Aromas. The handgun used was also recovered at the scene of the stop.
Maldonado was arrested and booked into the San Benito County Jail. Watsonville Police also have a case on Maldonado as a result of their contact. At the time of this report, it was unknown what charges, if any, Maldonado would face in Santa Cruz County.
"This case documents the importance of our working relationship with local agencies and our reliance on each other," the local sheriff's office said in a press release. "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."