Santa Paula Times

SPPD officer bitten, two suspects injured after violent robbery

November 01, 2002
Santa Paula Police Department
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesA Santa Paula police officer was bitten and two suspects received minor injuries in a riverbed confrontation following a violent armed robbery at a local market, where one victim was choked and received minor stab wounds. Four Santa Paula men and a Fillmore male were arrested shortly after the robbery.The incident occurred Tuesday, Oct. 29th at about 2:55 p.m. when five subjects entered Rancho Sunset Market, located in the 100 block of North Oak Street near Main Street.Arrested were Juan Carlos Laguna, 31, Jose Perez Garcia, 34, Pablo Sandoval, 20, and Antonio Zapian, 22, all of Santa Paula. Also arrested was Benjamin Aguirre, 26, a resident of Fillmore.Rancho Sunset Market has been robbed several times in the past year, but this time two of the five robbers were armed with knives while the others carried short sections of rope as they entered the market.One male victim inside the store was choked and received minor stab wounds to the back while one of the two female victims was accosted at knifepoint by one of the suspects and moved back to the refrigeration area of the small market.One of the suspects took the male victim’s wallet and another took the purse of one of the females that was inside the market.
The suspects also took the cash register when they left the store and fled in a waiting vehicle to the Santa Clara River and an area near the 12th Street bridge.SPPD officers soon located the suspects; Laguna and Sandoval fought with officers and were treated for their injuries before being booked into Ventura County Jail. The unnamed officer who was bitten was also treated for the wound. The cash register was recovered from the riverbed.All five of the suspects were arrested for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and kidnapping, a charge related to them forcing a female victim to the back area of the store.All five suspects remain in jail, according to a Ventura County Jail spokesman.