One person was taken into custody Wednesday morning in connection with the robbery of at least two people this week after women posing as prostitutes lured their victims into motel rooms near Olive Avenue and Parkway Drive.
A team of officers swept into a service station at Olive and Parkway shortly after 9 a.m. and detained multiple suspects at gunpoint. Police previously arrested two women who allegedly posed as the prostitutes and took part in robberies west of Highway 99.
Fresno police Sgt. Steve Crawford said the incidents occurred early Tuesday and Wednesday. Arrested were Angela Castaneda, 28, and Vanessa Hurtado, 21. The name of the male suspect arrested Wednesday morning was not released.
“I think we put an end to something that was developing,” Lt. Mark Salazar, of the department’s Street Violence Section, said after the latest arrest.
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On Tuesday, Crawford said officers were flagged down by a man who reported being robbed and assaulted after he went with a woman to a nearby motel room. He said he was beaten with a shotgun, stripped of his clothes and robbed of his property and car.
The victim’s car was seen about four hours later and Castaneda was taken into custody after she was seen approaching the vehicle. She was booked on charges of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.
Early Wednesday, Crawford said officers responded to Crystal Avenue just north of Olive, between the McDonald’s and Motel 6, where they saw a man running down the road in pursuit of two men he said had attacked him in a motel room.
The victim told officers he and his friend were in the area looking for prostitutes, and two women made arrangements to meet them in separate motel rooms. In the room, the victim said he was confronted by two men who attacked him and tried to take his money. The victim got the better of his attackers, who ran off with the victim in pursuit.
Police saw two women at a nearby bus stop and arrested Hurtado, who was booked on robbery charges, Crawford said.
The victim sustained a broken nose in the attack.
Police are seeking other suspects involved in the robberies. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.