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Citizens help deputies catch robbery suspects in Carpinteria

Posted at 2:27 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 17:31:40-05

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says two suspected robbers were arrested Monday after citizens caught one of the men and held him down until deputies arrived.

It happened at around 10:30 p.m. in Carpinteria.

Sheriff’s officials say deputies were called to the area of Elm Ave. and 5th Street for a report of a fight. When they arrived, they say they found citizens holding down 25-year-old Jose Romero. Officials say several people identified the 25-year-old from Ventura as having just robbed a liquor store in the 500 block of Linden Ave.

Deputies reportedly found a replica firearm in the front yard of a nearby apartment complex that they say Romero used during the robbery. It turned out to be an air-powered pellet gun.

A second suspect was found during a search of the nearby area.

Sheriff’s officials say Denis Gutierrez, 25, of Carpinteria was hiding in the backseat of a car.

The two men were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of robbery, criminal conspiracy, and for outstanding arrest warrants.

Jose Romero (l) and Denis Gutierrez (r)


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says it appreciates “the concerned citizens who helped deputies capture these robbery suspects. However, we also caution members of the public from approaching or attempting to apprehend suspected criminals, especially those who may be armed. For your safety, it is best for members of the community to be great witnesses, call 911 immediately and report what they are seeing.”