Man believed to be getaway driver in LL crime
A suspected getaway driver was in custody Thursday in connection with a botched robbery in Loma Linda on Monday that ended with the shooting death of his alleged accomplice.
Sheriff's detectives arrested Roberto Rivera, 23, at his Rialto home about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was being held without bail at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino.
Rivera faces charges of armed robbery and murder due to the fact that his alleged accomplice, 25-year-old Ricardo Barajas, was shot and killed during the commission of a robbery, which by law opens him up to prosecution for that offense, said Cindy Beavers, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Police say Barajas walked into Nader's Market in the 25000 block of Redlands Boulevard about 8:40 p.m. Monday. Brandishing a handgun, he grabbed an employee and attempted to rob the market. A struggle ensued between the two, and the store's owner, identified by a relative as Ayman Farha, came out of a back office, witnessed the struggle and grabbed a handgun he kept in the market for protection, authorities said.
When Barajas ignored Farha's order to drop the gun and pointed his gun at Farha, Farha shot Barajas, according to police. Barajas fled the store and Farha gave chase. Once outside the market, Farha fired a shot at the waiting getaway car facing south on Poplar Street after the driver pointed a gun at him, authorities said.
A witness jotted down the license plate number of the getaway car, a 2000 Chrysler 300M detectives learned was registered to Barajas.
Fontana police located the car Wednesday morning, abandoned in an apartment complex parking lot near Linden Avenue and Arrow Route, Beavers said.
A combination of witness tips and the follow-up investigation led detectives to Rivera's home on East Van Koevering Street on Wednesday night, where he was arrested, Beavers said.
Sheriff's investigators will submit their case to the District Attorney's Office today for review. Rivera is expected to be arraigned today in San Bernardino Superior Court, Beavers said.
Rivera also has a pending DUI charge and is scheduled to appear in court on that matter Monday, Beavers said.
The robbery investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's homicide detail at (909) 387-3589 or the WE-TIP hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-782-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.