Police Arrest T.O. Man on Suspicion of Attempted Robbery, Carjacking, Kidnapping

All three crimes allegedly took place at Thousand Oaks malls.

Police on Saturday arrested a Thousand Oaks man who they believe attempted to rob from, kidnap and carjack three separate victims.

The man, Sergio Banuelos, 19, allegedly first attacked a woman sitting in her vehicle in the Janns Mall parking structure, according to a statement issued Sunday by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

The victim told police she was sitting in her car at about 7:15 p.m. Saturday when a man, who police believe was Banuelos, attempted to open the victim's car door, which was locked. The man then reached into the driver's side window and grabbed the woman by the hair before reaching in with both hands and grabbed the victim's upper torso and abdomen area, the statement said. The man let go and fled on a red mountain bike when the victim screamed.

About 45 minutes later, deputies were called to The Oaks mall by a woman who said a man approached and grabbed her from behind while she was walking up stairs in a parking structure. The suspect fled the area on a red mountain bike after the victim screamed, struggled and broke free, according to the statement.

A special enforcemnt unit of the Thousand Oaks Police Department searched the surrounding area for the suspect and, at about 10:20 p.m., located a bicycle matching that of the suspect's at an apartment complex in the 800 block of Warwich Avenue. The suspect was detained while patrol deputies brouth the two victims to the complex, where they positively identified Banuelos, the statement said.

During the investigation, a third woman reported a possible theft from her vehicle at The Oaks Mall.

Video surveillance at both malls captured the suspect on video, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The department arrested Banuelos on suspicion of attempted robbery, attempted carjacking and attempted kidnapping. He was booked into the East County Jail and was being held on $100,000 bail, the statement said.


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