SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Santa Ana police have arrested a man suspected of assaulting, robbing and kidnapping an 82-year-old man last week.
According to police, the victim was pushed to the floor while inside the study at his Santa Ana home and forced into his Honda by a man they identified as Sergio Arechiga.
The senior citizen, who did not want to be identified, said the incident happened last Tuesday just as he was about to begin a Zoom meeting with the elders of his church.
“He spent some time telling me he knew I was a man of God,” the victim said. “He told me he would not harm me, but if I didn’t do what he told me to do, he would harm my family.”
The victim’s wife, unaware of what was happening, left home in the middle of the attack.
Officials said Arechiga allegedly broke into the victim’s home, choked him and demanded cash and gold, eventually stealing jewelry and other possessions.
Arechiga then allegedly forced the victim into the car and had him use his credit card at several locations to buy alcohol, food and clothing, according to authorities.
Security video from one of the stores shows a man with a bandana at the counter as the victim stands nearby. The victim said he was able to tell someone at the store that he was in danger.
“He was pulling clothes off the rack and shopping,” the victim said. “When he was far enough away from me, I whispered to the individual, ‘I am being held up, call the police.'”
The victim said he purposely used a credit card that would send fraud alerts to his wife’s phone. The man’s family was able to track his location using his phone and found him at a strip mall.
Police arrested Arechiga three days later. He was being held on $1.3 million bail.