A 27-year-old Bell Gardens man was behind bars Friday on suspicion of robberies in Santa Ana and Dana Point at motels with one victim having answered a classified ad.
Investigators suspect there may be more victims.
Christopher Augustin Herrera and Sandy Christina Caceros, 24, of La Palma, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of a robbery at a Best Western Hotel at 34280 Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, according to Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.
Herrera is also suspected of a robbery Jan. 6 at a Double Tree Hotel, 201 E. MacArthur, according to Hallock.
Herrera, who listed his occupation as forklift operator, was being held on $250,000 bail, according to Orange County Jail records. Caceros, who listed her job as waitress, posted bail and was released Thursday, according to jail records.
In Wednesday’s incident the victim arranged to meet someone through a classified ad in the site backpages.com for some sort of transaction at the Best Western in Dana Point, Hallock said.
Herrera and Caceros are accused of attacking the victim with pepper spray about 12:30 a.m. at the hotel and taking cash, a cell phone and a computer tablet, Hallock said.
The duo was last seen fleeing the hotel in a white, 2013 Nissan Maxima with the license plate 6XCC446, Hallock said.
Evidence from the most recent robbery helped link Herrera to the Jan. 6 mugging, Hallock said.
Herrera is suspected of coming up from behind on the victim as he entered his room and demanding money, Hallock said.
When the victim refused, Herrera beat him before running away with two unknown females, Hallock said.
Investigators suspect Herrera and Caceros are a team who work with other women and may be responsible for other robberies, Hallock said.
Anyone with information was asked to call Santa Ana police detective Cpl. Adrian Silva at (714) 245-8545 or (714) 834-4211. Orange County sheriff’s officials can be called around the clock at (714) 647-7000.
Anonymous tips may be called in to Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.
— City News Service