A man and woman who stopped for cigarettes at a liquor store in rural Turlock were kidnapped and carjacked Saturday, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
The victims went to a liquor store on Lander Avenue at about 6:45 a.m. but found that the store was closed, said deputy Royjindar Singh.
Another man and woman at the store told them they knew where to find cheap cigarettes, so the four of them got into the victims’ car.
Once inside, Singh said the male suspect brandished a handgun and instructed the male victim to drive to H Street.
There, the man took the victims’ cell phones and and ordered them out of the car. The female suspect got onto a bicycle in the area and pedaled away, and the male suspect left in the car.
Singh said the victims gave deputies detailed descriptions of the tattoos on the man who stole their car. Using a database, deputies narrowed down a list of suspects with similar tattoos and the victims identified him through a photo lineup.
While this was happening, deputies were dispatched to an unrelated call in the 100 block of West F Street just before 6 p.m.
There, they discovered the stolen car and confirmed that the suspect lived in that same block, just several blocks from where he allegedly left the victims 12 hours earlier.
Victor Altamirano, 32, was arrested on suspicion of carjacking, kidnapping during the commission of carjacking, robbery and parole violation.
Deputies have not located the woman who reportedly was with Altamirano.