“#Gang member kidnaps elderly man, forces him to pay for shopping spree”
Sergio Magaña Arechiga, 50, was burglarizing a Santa Ana home June 9 when the octogenarian resident walked in, apparently unaware, according to police.
The victim told KTLA he was about to sit down for a Zoom meeting with fellow church members when the burglar attacked.
Arechiga knocked the elderly man to the floor and pinned him down by placing his forearm on his neck, cops said. The suspect also threatened to kill the victim’s wife if he didn’t cooperate.
“He told me he would not harm me, but if I didn’t do what he told me to do, he would harm my family,” the victim, who did not want to be identified, told KTLA.
Arechiga then forced the victim into his own car, filled it with stolen items from the home and ordered the older man to withdraw money from an ATM and take him on a shopping spree lasting several hours, according to police.
Video released by Santa Ana Police shows the two men inside a Warehouse Shoe Sale, where the victim pays for multiple clothing items while Arechiga, wearing a red bandana on his face, stands in wait.
Arechiga is shown grabbing the items from the counter once they are bagged.
The victim used a type of card that would send alerts to his wife, leading family members to notify authorities, according to KTLA.
He also managed to let a security guard know he was in danger.
“When he was far enough away from me, I whispered to the individual, ‘I am being held up, call the police,’” the victim told the station. “He winked at me on the way out the door which to me said, he understood what I said.”
Police did respond to the store, but both men were gone by then, the outlet reported.
The victim’s son ultimately tracked his location through his phone, cops said.
Arechiga had just gotten out of the car right before the victim’s son arrived, according to cops.
“If his son hadn’t found him, who knows what would have happened,” Cpt. Anthony Bertagna told the outlet. “I mean, this is a violent felon.”
Cops quickly identified Arechiga as a suspect and tracked him down three days later at a relative’s home on a disturbance call, authorities said.
Santa Ana Police Department
Arechiga, who had some of the victim’s property in his possession, was arrested, cops said.
The district attorney’s office charged him with robbery and kidnapping, and bail has been set at $1.3 million.
He has previously been busted for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a peace officer, cops said.
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