3 Arrested in Armed Robbery

A botched armed robbery at Montgomery Ward in Ventura Saturday led to the arrest of three Oxnard residents, including a 69-year-old man accused of driving the getaway car, police said.

Danette Rossiter, 32, her 31-year-old brother, Daniel Lopez, and Reynaldo Ortega, 69, were arrested by Ventura police on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy, Sgt. Carl Handy said. Officers were questioning all three Saturday night before booking them into County Jail.

The incident occurred about 7 p.m. as the department store on South Mills Road in Ventura was about to close. According to police, Rossiter stuffed two pairs of jeans inside a large purse and was about to leave the store when she was stopped by a security guard.

When the guard confronted Rossiter, Lopez pulled out a starter pistol and threatened the guard, Handy said. Lopez and Rossiter then fled through the parking lot to a waiting station wagon, witnesses told police.


Officers spotted the station wagon a short distance away near the intersection of Arundell Avenue and Main Street. Ortega was driving and Rossiter was crouched down on a floorboard, police said.

All three were taken into custody. Officers found the jeans in the car and the starter pistol in the Montgomery Ward parking lot, police said.