Hours earlier, around 11:15 p.m. Sunday, a 22-year-old female was attacked inside a Von’s supermarket in Montecito and struck on the head with a wine bottle as her assailant attempted to steal her purse.
Three hours later, at 2:29 a.m. Jan. 10, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s patrol units responded to reports of a fight in progress at a shopping center parking lot in the county area adjacent to Goleta. Deputies arrived at the scene to find a CVS store clerk who reported an assault and robbery while he was at work collecting shopping carts in the parking lot.
“The suspect demanded the victim’s wallet, and the victim tried to run away but fell to the ground,” said sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars. “At that time, the suspect forcibly removed the wallet from the victim’s pants pocket.”
The victim further reported that when the suspect discovered no money in the wallet, he fled the area in what Sugars described as “an older pickup truck.”
Three miles away on Hollister Avenue in Goleta, sheriff’s patrol units spotted a vehicle matching the described pickup truck and pursued it at a high rate of speed to the Costco parking lot. Cortez was then taken into custody without incident, and it was determined that the pickup truck had been reported as stolen.
Cortez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of felony car theft, robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, terrorist threats and other offenses, and is held on $250,000 bail.