A man wanted in connection with two carjackings was arrested in an abandoned gated community in La Quinta following a foot pursuit, a Riverside County sheriff's sergeant said Monday.
The suspect is Armando Verdugo, 22, of Thermal, said sheriff's Sgt. Patrick Campbell.
The first carjacking was reported at 3:11 p.m. Sunday, when deputies from the Palm Desert Police Department responded to a parking lot in the 72000 block of Highway 111, Campbell said. The victim told deputies that the carjacker ordered her out of the vehicle at gunpoint, got in and sped away, he said.
A second carjacking was reported 22 minutes later in a parking lot in the 74000 block of Highway 111 in Indian Wells, where another woman told sheriff's deputies that the man ordered her out of her vehicle at gunpoint.
"The suspect in both incidents was similarly described by both victims and a broadcast of the vehicle and suspect description was given to surrounding agencies," he said.
La Quinta-based deputies spotted the second vehicle being driven in the area of Avenue 52 and Jefferson Avenue, and Verdugo abandoned it and ran into an abandoned gated community, Campbell said.
A perimeter was established, and Verdugo was taken into custody without incident, the sergeant said. He was in possession of some of the victims' property and other evidence linked him to both incidents, he said.
Verdugo was booked into the Indio Jail on suspicion of felony carjacking, six counts of possession of ammunition by a felon, receiving stolen property and two probation violations, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Verdugo is scheduled to appear before a judge at the Indio Larson Justice Center Tuesday morning.