Pair arrested after Chevron robbery

A man and a woman were arrested after a robbery at the Chevron gas station at 604 S. Coast Hwy. on Friday evening.

Diana June Mendoza, 18, of Laguna Beach, was charged with robbery, burglary and possession of a controlled substance. Oscar Alberto Cea Valladares, 18, was also charged with burglary. A 17-year-old juvenile from Laguna Beach was released to a parent, according to Lt. Jason Kravetz.

Laguna Beach police received a call at 9:11 p.m. that three young men put food items under their sweat shirts and ran out of the gas station. An employee ran out of the store and told one of the men to return the food.

The young "man," who later turned out to be Mendoza, produced what appeared to be a handgun and asked if the clerk was referring to "this stuff," Kravetz said.

The clerk went back into the store and called police. Afterward, he went outside and noticed Mendoza was still there. He told her again to return the food, and she produced the handgun again and ran off with the other two males, according to police.

They allegedly stole approximately $10 worth of goods, Kravetz said.

The three suspects were reported to have fled on Legion Street and then south on Ramona Avenue. Police officers patrolled the area and did not immediately identify the suspects, Kravetz said. However, they found the gun, which turned out to be a pellet gun that had been spray-painted black.

About an hour later, an officer noticed two men on Ramona Avenue who matched the description and detained them and brought them back to the Chevron, where they were identified as Valladares and the juvenile, police said.

The officers discovered Vicodin without a valid prescription in their possession, Kravetz said.

Mendoza was discovered when police received a medical call from the 600 block of Ramona Avenue, which turned out to be Mendoza's older brother reporting that his sister needed medical attention, Kravetz said. When officers arrived, they found Mendoza, who matched the description of the female suspect. She was also brought to Chevron, where the clerk identified her as the suspect with the gun.

The entire incident was caught on tape by Chevron's surveillance cameras.

Mendoza was taken to Orange County Jail on $100,000 bail. Valladares' bail was set at $20,000.

The case is currently still under investigation. Both suspects were arraigned Tuesday morning, according to Kravetz.

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