An 18-year-old Coachella man was jailed Friday, having been taken into custody in connection with a series of armed robberies in the desert, authorities said.
Jose Jesus Morales was booked into the county jail on suspicion of robbery, second-degree robbery and exhibiting a firearm during a robbery. He was also booked on suspicion of theft by forgery and failure to appear in court when ordered.
Morales was due to appear in court Thursday, but records did not indicate if he had been charged.
The suspect was arrested Sunday for allegedly committing a robbery in Indio by police there; in the following days, he was then connected to robberies in La Quinta, Indio and Palm Desert, authorities said.
"This robbery was related to the two armed robberies the previous day in La Quinta, as well as several other recent robberies that occurred in Indio and Palm Desert," Sheriff's Sergeants Juan Zamora and Steve DaSilva said in a press release.
The robberies in La Quinta were in the 4000 Block of Avenida Rubio and on Venice Drive, near San Marino Court, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Juan Zamora wrote in a news release.
The first one, at 7:56 p.m., happened when someone in a white SUV approached two women and took their purses at gunpoint, officials said.
"The suspect brandished a handgun at the victims and demanded their purses," Zamora said. "The suspect then re-entered his vehicle and left the area northbound on Avenida Rubio.
"The victims were not physically hurt."
In the next incident, at 8:30 p.m., a man who was getting his mail from a community mailbox on Venice Drive, near San Marino Court, was held up by a suspect fitting the description of the first suspect, Zamora said.
"The suspect took the victim's wallet and fled in a white sport utility vehicle," he said.
"The victim was not hurt during the robbery."
It was not clear if the suspect is connected to two street robberies that occurred Friday night in the city of Palm Desert, committed by someone driving a dark truck and by someone in a Jeep Cherokee with paper plates, according to police reports.