Alleged robbers face slate of charges in holdup, assaults at aut - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Alleged robbers face slate of charges in holdup, assaults at auto-parts store

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two men were behind bars Tuesday and facing an array of charges for allegedly raping one employee and pistol-whipping another while robbing a Bay Terraces auto-parts store, then leading officers on a highway chase in a car stolen at gunpoint from a teenage boy.

Adrian Osuna Avena, 25, and Juan Pablo Perez, 34, allegedly pulled guns on a male clerk and his female co-worker at the Auto Zone store in the 6900 block of Paradise Valley Road about 8:45 a.m. Monday, minutes before the business was due to close, according to San Diego police.

The victims were ordered into a back room, where they were forced to the ground and tied up, SDPD public-affairs Lt. Andra Brown said. Perez then allegedly used his pistol to beat the male employee on the head while demanding a safe combination and passwords to the store's cash registers.

Avena, meanwhile, allegedly took the female worker to another part of the store and sexually assaulted her, Brown said.

After stealing money from the business along with the male victim's wallet and cell phone, the robbers fled out a back door.

A few minutes later, a 17-year-old boy parked his 2007 Saturn sedan in the 6800 block of Doriana Street, a short distance south of the auto-parts shop. As the youth was locking up his car, he noticed two men with a flashlight peering into parked vehicles, according to Brown.

The pair then confronted the teen, pointed a pistol at him and demanded that he unlock his car and give them the keys. The victim complied, and the thieves drove off to the south on Jamie Avenue.

While responding to the commercial robbery, patrol officers were notified of the carjacking and spotted the stolen vehicle passing through the area. When the officers tried to pull the sedan over, the suspect behind the wheel sped off.

Officers followed the Saturn onto eastbound State Route 54 and eventually onto southbound SR-125, where one of the tires on the carjacked vehicle began to disintegrate. The sedan came to a stop shortly thereafter, and the driver jumped out, ran off and made a failed attempt to evade arrest by hiding in a patch of dense shrubbery. A service dog led officers to him minutes later.

The other suspect remained in the stolen vehicle and was promptly captured.

Avena and Perez were booked into county jail on charges including commercial robbery, conspiracy, carjacking, sexual assault and carrying loaded firearms. They were scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday afternoon.

Sex crimes and robbery detectives are investigating.

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