MORENO VALLEY: Two arrested after armed car-jacking investigation

MORENO VALLEY — Authorities arrested two 19-year-old men they allege carjacked a vehicle at gun point last week from the 23000 block of Sunnymead Boulevard in Moreno Valley. The victim managed to escape with minor injuries after the early morning armed carjacking.

After an investigation, Moreno Valley Special Enforcement Team members located and arrested Jose Luis Mendez and Majid Woods, Tuesday, Nov. 7Both men are residents of Moreno Valley, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Jeremy Harding explained in a written press release after the arrests

Both were later booked into Robert Presley Detention Center; Mendez on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a felony, kidnapping and car-jacking and Woods on suspicion of receiving stolen property.

The investigation began Friday, Nov. 3, about 3:25 a.m., when deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Moreno Valley Police station responded to a 911 call reporting the carjacking.

During their investigation, deputies determined the victim was in the driver’s seat of his vehicle when two suspects, later identified as Mendez and Woods, jumped into the backseat of the victim’s car. The two suspects were reportedly armed with an assault rifle and demanded cash from the victim.

“The victim handed over cash before jumping out of the vehicle to flee from the suspects,” said Harding. “One of the suspects entered the driver seat and fled the area.”

The victim was treated for minor injuries he received during the incident.

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, SET members located the carjacked vehicle being driven in the area of Chippewa Trail. Deputies stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver.

After gathering additional information, deputies served a search warrant at a residence on the 24000 block of Chippewa Trail, at which time they located the assault rifle allegedly used in the crime and arrested the second suspect.

An online jail records search revealed both Mendez and Woods remain in custody, Mendez held on $250,000 bail and Woods held on $10,000 bail. Both are scheduled to be arraigned at the Riverside Hall of Just, Nov. 13.

Anyone with information related to this case is encouraged to contact the Robbery and Burglary Suppression Team at the Moreno Valley Station by calling (951) 486-6700. Callers can refer to incident file number MV173070008 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.


Contact the writer:

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.

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