A 41-year-old man is behind bars Monday after being accused of stealing a woman’s laptop and injuring her in the process in Thermal.

Jesus Perales of Indio was arrested after the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery just after noon Sunday at the Truck Stops of America in the 46000 block of Dillon Road.

According to Sgt. David Koedyker, a woman reported that a man stole her laptop bag from the trunk of her vehicle. The victim reported that she confronted Perales and got into a physical confrontation in which she sustained minor injuries. Perales then allegedly fled in a white sedan.

Police said that, with the assistance of a California Highway Patrol helicopter, the suspect’s vehicle was located in a citrus field in the 40000 block of Dillon Road. After searching the nearby area, deputies found the suspect in a nearby camp as well as the victim’s stolen property buried nearby, police said.

The victim’s stolen property was returned to her and Perales was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on suspicion of robbery. He remains there on $30,000 bail.

Jail records show he will make his initial court appearance at the Larson Justice Center on Wednesday.

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