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RSO: Robbery and car theft suspects arrested after series of crimes in the desert

COACHELLA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — Two men were in custody Tuesday awaiting a decision on possible criminal charges in connection with an alleged armed robbery and car theft.

Vincent Caballero, 20, of Thermal, and David Bustos, 25, of Indio, were arrested Monday by Palm Desert Sheriff's Department officers.

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Caballero was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, while Bustos was arrested on suspicion of criminal possession of a firearm and ammunition, according to a statement from Sergeant Daniel Milbrandt of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Both men were taken to the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio.

Officers responded to a report of an armed robbery in the 71000 block of Highway 111 at 11:48 p.m. Monday and found two victims who had been attacked and robbed at gunpoint by multiple suspects, according to the sheriff's department. One victim was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Minutes later, officers were called to a carjacking in the 73000 block of Santa Rosa Way in Palm Desert. The victim reported that several male suspects armed with firearms stole his vehicle after attacking it. A description of the suspects and the vehicle led officers to believe both crimes were committed by the same suspects from the earlier attack, Milbrandt said.

Using the victim's cell phone in the stolen vehicle, officers tracked the car to an address on Angela Court in Indio. When officers caught up with him, “the driver of the victim's vehicle fled at a high rate of speed and a chase was authorized,” which Milbrandt said ended with the driver attempting to flee on foot at the intersection of Colby Street and Monroe Way in Indio.

Both suspects were later found and arrested at a residence in the 45,000 block of Bradley Way. A search turned up an unregistered assault rifle, two handguns with high-capacity magazines and property belonging to the victims, Milbrandt said.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Investigator Hickok at 760-836-1600.