Two Santa Maria men have been arrested in connection with robberies Monday night, police said.
Around 6:45 p.m. Monday, police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a liquor store in the 1500 block of South Broadway. Witnesses said a male suspect walked into the store displaying a handgun and took an alcoholic beverage from a cooler and walked out without paying, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.
As officers were searching the business for evidence and witnesses, a man, later identified as 28-year-old Anthony Prado walked up the business. Believing he matched the description of the suspect, police detained him. Witnesses identified Mr. Prado as the suspect.
While Mr. Prado was being arrested, a second robbery victim contacted police and reported that Mr. Prado stole personal property from her motel room and brandished a firearm when she tried to retrieve the item. Officers searched for the firearm used and found a pellet gun that looked like an actual handgun. Mr. Prado was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of two counts of robbery, police said.
At approximately 6:57 p.m., police responded to reports of a robbery in the area of West Betteravia Road and Thornburg Street. The victim reported he was approached by a male suspect who demanded money and threatened to use a gun.
A suspect, 19-year-old Martin Montez De Oca, was arrrested. He was found to not have a gun during the commission of the crime. He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of felony robbery, police said.