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Police Make Arrests in Early-Morning Carjacking

Leonardo Julian Agustin
Leonardo Julian Agustin

Three people are in jail in connection with a carjacking that occurred early Monday, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers responded at about 1:30 a.m. to the 700 block of West El Camino Street, where the victim told them his car had been stolen at gunpoint.

The victim said he was sitting his vehicle when he was approached by a man and a woman who asked him for a ride to a local store, which he refused, said Sgt. Terry Flaa.

The couple walked across the street and waited, then returned to the victim, pointed a gun at him, and demanded the vehicle, Flaa said.

“Fearing for his life, the victim got out of the vehicle, at which time the suspect fled the area in the stolen vehicle,” Flaa said.

Later Monday, at about 12:40 p.m., the victim was in the 500 block of West Mill Street when he saw his vehicle parked in a nearby alley, Flaa said.

He alerted police, who set up a perimeter around the area, Flaa said. At that point, the vehicle was driven from the alley, and officers conducted a “high risk enforcement stop,” and took the occupants of the vehicle into custody.

Stephanie Vazquez
Stephanie Vazquez

Leonardo Julian Agustin, 32, and Stephanie Vazquez, 22, both of Santa Maria, were identified as the original carjacking suspects, Flaa said. With them in the car was Moises Salinas Rios, 26, also of Santa Maria.

Agustin was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of carjacking, attempted robbery, being a felon in possession of a hand gun, criminal threats and a parole violation. He was being held without bail.

Vazquez was booked on charges of carjacking, attempted robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle, Flaa said, with bail set at $100,000.

Rios was being held on an outstanding warrant, and for allegedly being under the influence of a dangerous drug.

The victim’s name was not released.

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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