Victims Describe Frightening Robbery in Mecca
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Mar. 27, 2013
This week police investigated two unrelated armed robberies in the eastern end of the Coachella Valley.
Wednesday, police arrested 25-year-old Benjamin Pimentel of North Shore for armed robbery, kidnapping and committing a felony while on bail.
Now two suspects are behind bars, but three more are still on the loose after two separate robberies in Mecca and North Shore.
We spoke with the victim's of Sunday's robbery about the frightening encounter.
Rafael Arias says his landlord was at home sitting outside when a man walked up demanding money.
"Give me 500 bucks, if not I'm going to shoot you."
The landlord went inside, and told his 88-year-old mother what was happening..
"His Mom and Ramon's daughters went outside to distract him while his brother was on the phone with the police."
With police on the way, the suspect grew nervous and the family tried to stall him,
"He's all like ten minutes too much, he had the gun on him, so he just tried to show it off, and he told me if you don't give me, I'm going to shoot you," said Rafael.
Police arrived and the suspect ran away, but deputies found him and a handgun.
39-year-old Dennis Delgado Moralez was arrested for attempted robbery and elder abuse.
Police have this advice:
"We would always encourage the victims to cooperate with the demands of the suspect, suspects. And just call 9-1-1 as soon as they are able to do so, but definitely cooperate and not try to take matters into their own hands," said Lt. Misty Reynolds with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Thermal Station.
Tuesday at noon, four men entered a home in North Shore.
They had semi-automatic handguns and demanded money and property.
"We've learned through the investigation that these victims were targeted for specific reasons, not random acts of violence, so we have no reason to believe that there's any threat to the community," said Lt. Reynolds.
Meanwhile, Rafael says his family is still reeling from the robbery.
"My family is kind of shaken up, we tried to get everything together, but they're just afraid something else might happen."
But Rafael hopes everything returns to normal, so they can all feel safe again.
The sheriff's department says robberies are actually down 33 percent from last year in the un-incorporated area of the county.