A 37-year-old man was behind bars Friday on suspicion of driving off with a physically disabled woman in an idling car, refusing to let her go until her family tracked her down and confronted him.
Jaime Magana Arechiga was arrested Thursday, booked on suspicion of carjacking, kidnapping and false imprisonment of an elder or dependent adult, and held on more than $1 million bail, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
An officer assigned to monitor probationers recognized Arechiga from a cell phone picture one of the victim’s family members took of him, Bertagna said.
About noon on Saturday, the 67-year-old victim was waiting in an idling car at Mom’s Market, at 5111 W. Edinger Ave., as her husband was shopping when Arechiga got into the driver’s seat and drove away, Bertagna said.
“He takes off and she says, `Let me out,’ and he says no and drives her to Centennial Park, where he takes the keys with him and tells her to stay in the car,” Bertagna said.
“Fortunately for her, her sister and her husband had the find-my-phone app and tracked the location” where the victim was at, Bertagna said.
Arechiga was accused of driving around with the woman in her car for 45 minutes, Bertagna said.
When they arrived at the park, Arechiga got out to buy narcotics and beer, and the victim called her family for help, he said.
Arechiga is the younger brother of Sergio Magana Arechiga, who is facing similar charges, he said.
Sergio was due in court next week for a hearing to determine if he is mentally healthy enough to assist in his defense. He is charged with abducting an 82-year-old man from his home in Santa Ana and forcing him to withdraw cash from an ATM, buy him clothes and pay for a hotel room, police said.
Jaime Arechiga has a lengthy criminal record. He was due in court on Monday in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana for two pending cases, including a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and a misdemeanor count of violating a protective-stay-away order.
He pleaded guilty in November 2018 to misdemeanor counts of contempt of court for disobeying a court order and resisting arrest. He was on probation in that case when he was arrested this week, according to court records.