SANTA PAULA — Santa Paula police arrested Rosendo Lopez, 29, of Thousand Oaks on charges of armed robbery earlier this month.
According to police spokeswoman and records supervisor Melissa King, police units responded to Discoteca Mi Pueblito just before noon on Friday, July 2 and were told by the store’s owner that three intruders had robbed him at gunpoint.
“They pointed a gun and demanded money,” said King, “and then forced him to the ground.
Further demands for cash were allegedly made at that time while one of the perpetrators held a gun to the victim’s head and another attempted to bind him with duct tape.
“The victim failed to cooperate,” King added, indicating that he earned a beating for his resistance.
During the robbery attempt, the trio of armed assailants attempted to restrain a hapless customer who unwittingly entered the store. The customer immediately fled, running to a neighboring establishment to summon police.
Back at the robbery scene, the suspects hurriedly seized an undisclosed amount of jewelry and cash, then exited into their curbside vehicle.
Following his assailants to the sidewalk shortly thereafter, and now armed with his own weapon, the victim fired a series of pistol rounds at the suspect vehicle as it sped off.. The getaway car was located in a nearby commercial alley with a shattered rear window, blood evidence on the interior upholstery, and a blood trail leading away from the vehicle.
King said that photo and eyewitness reports led Santa Paula police detectives to identify Lopez as a primary suspect in the violent robbery attempt. His movements were traced to a motel in Sylmar. Los Angeles police units were dispatched to that location, where Lopez was arrested in the company of a female companion. Lopez was suffering from a minor gunshot wound to the arm at the time of his arrest and treated at Ventura County Medical Center before being booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of robbery with the use of a firearm.
Lopez is currently held without bail on an ICE hold while his two alleged confederates remain at large.