A suspected carjacker was arrested in connection with two brazen vehicle thefts in Palm Desert and Indian Wells, officials have reported.
The first incident happened just after 3 p.m., Sunday March 3 in the 72000 block of Highway 111 in Palm Desert.
The female victim told authorities a Hispanic male came up to her as she sat in her car in a parking lot. The man brandished a gun and told her to get out of the vehicle.
“The victim complied and the suspect drove away in the vehicle,” Sgt. Carroll stated in a Riverside County Sheriff’s press release.
As investigators were dealing with the first robbery, a second carjacking was called in just after 3:30 p.m. a few blocks away in Indian Wells.
The victim told a similar story, that a man approached her, pulled out a gun and ordered her out of the car.
La Quinta Police officers spotted the second stolen vehicle near Avenue 52 and Jefferson Avenue.
Sgt. Carroll said the suspect tried to get away and ran into an abandoned gated neighborhood.
With the help of a sheriff’s helicopter the suspect was eventually located and arrested.
Thermal resident Armando Verdugo, 22, was booked into a local detention center on several charges.
Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Palm Desert Police Station at 760-836-1600.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at email@example.com.