Hemet officers arrest 3 after Depot Deli robbery, pursuit, crash
HEMET – Hemet Police Officers arrested three men for different charges after two of the men allegedly robbed Hemet’s Depot Deli, at 200 W Florida Avenue, Saturday, June 25. The robbery was reported at about 3:20 a.m., according to police officials.
An investigation revealed two of three suspects entered Depot Deli and assaulted the employee while in the process of stealing beer. The alleged suspects then fled with the beer and led officers on a dangerous, high-speed pursuit that ended when they smashed into a tree in the neighboring city of San Jacinto.
Once detained, investigating officers conducted a records check on the three subjects and determined the driver, identified as Jose Antonio Figueroa, 21, of San Jacinto, was on formal probation for a prior incident of felony evading officers and had an active warrant for felony evasion.
Based on his warrants and the incident at Depot Deli, officers arrested Figueroa for robbery, felony evasion, and conspiracy.
Officers identified one of the passengers as Reno Edward Ortiz, 21, of Hemet, and arrested him for robbery and conspiracy.
The third passenger, who was not identified by police officials, was determined to have not been involved in the robbery but was heavily intoxicated. He was arrested for public intoxication.
The victim who called 911 to report the incident – an employee from Depot Deli – provided City of Hemet emergency dispatchers a description of the suspects and truck they fled in.
As officers responded to the business, an observant officer spotted the suspect truck and attempted to initiate a traffic enforcement stop. The driver failed to yield and immediately fled from the officer, who initiated a vehicle pursuit.
“The pursuit traveled north out of the city of Hemet and into San Jacinto…into the mobile home park at 351 E 7th Street, in San Jacinto, where the suspect vehicle collided into a tree,” according to police officials.
After the truck crashed into the tree, two of the three vehicle occupants remained in the vehicle and were detained without further incident.
The driver fled on foot after the crash and was located a short time later after he attempted to hide in a shed. He was later identified as Jose Figueroa and was arrested without further incident.
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s San Jacinto Police Station responded to the location of the collision to conduct an accident investigation.
While conducting their accident investigation, San Jacinto PD deputies found the suspect’s truck was riddled with bullet holes from an unknown incident.
At the conclusion of their investigation, officers booked Figueroa and Ortiz at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. The other passenger was booked at the Hemet PD Jail.
A jail record search revealed Figueroa was booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a felony, robbery, recklessly evading a police officer, vehicle theft, driving under the influence and another count of recklessly evading arrest. Some of those charges were related to Figueroa’s warrant. He remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail and he is scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court, June 29.
Ortiz was booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a felony and robbery. He was released later the same day after posting $30,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Aug. 19.
The second passenger was booked into Hemet PD’s jail for public intoxication and was later released with a citation.
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