Santa Maria kidnapping suspect slapped with five felony counts

B. Mendoza accused of crimes spanning two counties

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office announced that it's charging 26-year-old Santa Maria resident Baltazar Alverez Mendoza with five felony counts.

The criminal charges include:

  1. Kidnapping during a carjacking
  2. Carjacking
  3. Robbery
  4. Leaving the scene of an accident
  5. and Evading an officer with willful disregard for safety


Mendoza is accused of holding a man and his son at gunpoint and forcing them to drive from Santa Maria to a Shell gas station in Atascadero where he allegedly robbed it on April 30. The victim and his son were able to flee from the suspect to a restaurant nearby where the police were contacted.

SLO County Sheriff's deputies quickly located Mendoza who they said fled and drove to San Miguel where he crashed and was taken into custody.

Mendoza will be arraigned on May 12 in Santa Maria Superior Court. He remains in custody with bail set at $1.1 million.

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