Santa Barbara County – A pair of gas station stickups that took place on December 30th, 2012 some twenty miles and forty minutes apart from one another may have moved a step closer to legal resolution with the arrest on January 18th of Federico Yepez, 23.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover—newly posted to her position just this month—the arrest of Yepez “comes after a lengthy investigation by Sheriff’s Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau and Special Investigations Bureau.”
Yepez is suspected to have been the perpetrator of an armed robbery of the Turnpike Shell Gas Station in Goleta, and then to have promptly driven south to the Casitas Pass offramp in Carpinteria where the Arco AM/PM station sits just yards away from a pair of U.S. 101 onramps, and where he relieved store clerks of an undisclosed amount of cash. At each location he was armed with a handgun and used that weapon to enforce his request for cash.
As his second target in Carpinteria was but a mile from the Ventura County line, a reasonable presumption would be that he would have avoided traveling or remaining within Santa Barbara County following the robberies. But sometimes the “homing” instinct even among criminals overcomes common sense.
The relentless SBSD ground-level investigatory effort identified the suspect in both robberies as Yepez, and with warrants for his arrest in hand, all SBSD units throughout the county were on the lookout for him when he was observed driving through the streets of Santa Maria—about as far away from Carpinteria as possible while still in Santa Barbara County—and what Hoover described in her report as a “routine traffic stop” was conducted upon his vehicle. Yepez was taken into custody at that time and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he remains held without bail on multiple charges of armed robbery.
Santa Barbara Independent: Man Arrested for Gas Station Armed Robberies
Lompoc Record: Arrest Made in Gas Station Robberies