PALM DESERT – Following two instances of carjacking, a suspect was arrested on Sunday.
In Palm Desert on Sunday, March 3rd at approximately 3:11 PM, a woman made a call to the Palm Desert Police Department reporting that her vehicle had been stolen at gunpoint. Deputies responded to the 72000 block of Hwy 111, where the victim told deputies that she was stopped in a parking lot, at which point a Hispanic male approached the vehicle, opened driver’s side door and brandishing a gun, ordered her to get out. The victim complied and the suspect drove off in her vehicle.
While deputies began their investigation into the incident, another similar crime occurred at 3:33 pm, this time in the 74000 block of Hwy 111 in the city of Indian Wells, according to Sergeant Patrick Carroll. The second victim described a very similar incident. She was in her vehicle in a parking lot when she was approached by a Hispanic male, who pointed a gun at her and demanded she exit her vehicle. The suspect who drove away in this second vehicle matched the description in the first carjacking. At this time a broadcast went out to surrounding agencies.
Deputies from the La Quinta police department reported the vehicle from the second incident driving in the area of Ave 52 and Jefferson Ave. However, the suspect eluded the deputies by abandoning the vehicle and disappearing on foot into an abandoned gated community. Working with Thermal Station deputies and the California Highway Patrol air unit, officers set up a perimeter around the community and were able to surround the suspect. He was located and taken into custody without incident.
The suspect, Armando Verdugo, age 22 of Thermal was discovered in possession of some of the victim’s property. Sergeant Carroll also stated that, “Other items of evidentiary value were located which linked the suspect to both incidents.”
Palm Desert Patch: Man Arrested in Connection to 2 Carjackings, Police Chase
SWRNN: Gunman carjacks two women in Palm Desert