Emanuel Ochoa

Emanuel Ochoa

A Santa Maria man and a Guadalupe woman have been arrested in connection with at least one robbery, and may be linked to other similar crimes.

At approximately 6:45 p.m. May 15, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies were dispatched after a 9-1-1 call from a gas station on the 1200 block of East Betteravia Road, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Raquel Zick said Wednesday.

The caller reported that the gas station had just been robbed by two suspects who fled in a vehicle.

Deputies did not find the suspects.

However, an alert about the robbery and the suspects’ descriptions caught the attention of a San Luis Obispo County deputy, who recognized the circumstances as being similar to an incident in that jurisdiction, Zick added.

Detectives, with the assistance of the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office, identified the two suspects and tracked them to Bakersfield, Zick said.

Emanuel Ochoa, 30, and Brandy Baldivia, 24, were taken into custody Tuesday after arrest and search warrants were served at a Bakersfield hotel where they were staying.

The Bakersfield Police Department Violent Crime Apprehension Team assisted Santa Barbara County detectives in apprehending the pair.

Brandy Baldivia

Brandy Baldivia

Ochoa and Baldivia were arrested on suspicion of felony robbery, burglary, false imprisonment, and conspiracy, plus misdemeanor wearing a mask for an unlawful purpose. 

Ochoa also was sought for an outstanding warrant for violating probation. 

Both suspects were booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail for each set at $100,000.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s detectives are coordinating efforts with the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office and the Pismo Beach Police Department, which are all investigating similar incidents, Zick said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.