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SB Man Facing Robbery, Kidnapping Charges

Joshua Vincent Moreno, 24, is accused of accosting two men in a vehicle on Ortega Street, threatening them with a gun and a knife

A 24-year-old Santa Barbara man is facing kidnapping, robbery and related charges after he allegedly accosted to two men in a vehicle downtown, the Santa Barbara Police Department reported Thursday.

Joshua Vincent Moreno
Joshua Vincent Moreno

Joshua Vincent Moreno was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail after being taken into custody late Monday night at an apartment in the 600 block of De La Vina Street, according to police Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Officer Bruno Peterson was dispatched to the 200 block of West Ortega Street at about 11 p.m. Monday, and found Moreno, who had a gun, leaning over a man who was in the driver’s seat of a parked car, Harwood said. As Peterson approached, the suspect fled into a nearby apartment complex and ran in to one of the units, Harwood said.

Peterson and other officers established a perimeter around the apartment, then ordered the occupants out at gunpoint. Moreno was taken into custody, and police questioned several other people who were inside the apartment.

Investigators determined that the two victims — one 18 and one 19 years old — were sitting in a parked car on the north side of Ortega Street when they allegedly were accosted by Moreno. He allegedly told the pair he had a gun, then entered the rear seat of the vehicle, and demanded they give him their valuables, which they did.

Moreno then became angry, saying the pair had not given him everything, and exited the vehicle, Harwood said. He allegedly pulled one of the victims from the front passenger seat and threatened him with a pocket knife the victim had removed from his pocket. The victim broke free, Harwood said, and ran to his nearby apartment and called police.

Moreno subsequently threatened and accosted the driver, at which point Officer Peterson arrived and the suspect fled, Harwood said.

Neither victim was injured in the incident.

Moreno was booked on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery, brandishing a deadly weapon, and resisting or delaying an officer, Harwood said. Bail was set at $100,000.

The victims’ stolen property — consisting of wallets, cell phones, keys, and small quantities of cash — was recovered from the apartment, Harwood said, adding that a gun was not found.

Moreno is an admitted gang member, Harwood said, but the incident does not appear to have been done for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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