Monday, January 04, 2016

Man arrested for armed robbery after taking selfie with victim then sending her a copy

Maybe it was vanity. Maybe it was a taunt. Or maybe he was just trying to make life easier for the police. Whatever the case, police say, 18-year-old Victor Almanza-Martinez of Castroville, California, is in Monterey County Jail on charges of robbery and kidnapping.

Bail is set at $170,000. Police said Almanza-Martinez and two companions, wearing bandanas, approached four people sitting in their vehicle about 1am Wednesday at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove. They ordered the victims out at gunpoint, then moved them a short distance away and stole their property, police said.

That’s when Almanza-Martinez took a selfie with one of the victims, police said, a photograph he later sent to the female victim via text message. The photo wound up in the possession of investigators, who identified Almanza-Martinez despite the bandana. At 11:45am, detectives conducted a search of a property in Castroville, where they found Almanza-Martinez.

He was arrested without incident and booked on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of stolen property, violation of probation and gang enhancements. The other robbers remain at large. The victims’ car, a black 2013 Chrysler 200 with no licence plates, is still missing.

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