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Calexico man arrested in 2 robbery cases

April 11, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

A man suspected of attempting to rob a boy walking home from school and robbing a man waiting in a fast food restaurant's drive-through lane was arrested Tuesday.

At 2:16 p.m. Tuesday, El Centro police officers responded to a call that someone had attempted to rob a 15-year-old Central Union High School student on Imperial Avenue, said El Centro Police Department Lt. Paul Longoria.

Sometime before 2 p.m. the boy, whose name was not available this morning, was approached by a man who seemed to be loitering in the east parking lot of Valley Plaza Shopping Center, Longoria said.

The suspect demanded the boy give him his watch, but the boy did not immediately understand what the suspect was saying, Longoria said.

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The suspect then pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun, Longoria said.

The boy then backed up and flagged down a passing motorist on Imperial Avenue. The motorist stopped to assist and the suspect fled through the parking lot, Longoria said.

As officers were taking this attempted robbery report at 2:42 p.m., El Centro police received a call about another robbery.

Martin Benoit, 45, of El Centro, was sitting in his vehicle at the McDonald's Restaurant at 1990 S. 4th St. around 2:40 p.m. when he was approached by a man at his driver's side window.

Again, the suspect lifted his shirt to reveal a gun and he demanded Benoit's wallet, Longoria said.

Benoit gave him his wallet and as the suspect fled on foot through an alley near the restaurant, Benoit noticed a vehicle that seemed to be affiliated with the suspect, Longoria said.

Benoit took down the car's license plate number and gave it and a description of the suspect to police, Longoria said.

Officer Richard Ramos spotted the vehicle a short time later in the 500 block of Ocotillo Drive.

As he investigated the vehicle, a man matching the descriptions given by both the boy and Benoit came out of the home where the car was parked, Longoria said.

Marco Antonio Garibaldi, 19, of Calexico, was arrested by the El Centro officers at 546 Ocotillo Drive in El Centro just after 3 p.m., according to log records.

Evidence linking Garibaldi to the crimes was found inside the home, but no weapon was recovered, Longoria said.

Garibaldi was booked into the county jail on suspicion of robbery, where he remained this morning. His bail is set at $50,000.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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