Suspect who robbed, assaulted man outside restaurant arrested

Agustin Rangel Tapia, left, was charged with robbery, elder abuse and burglary. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail, jail records showed. — Watsonville Police Department

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville Police on Monday arrested the man suspected of attacking and robbing a 70-year-old man as he left a restaurant late last month.

Agustin Rangel Tapia, 30, was charged with robbery, elder abuse and burglary. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail, jail records showed.

Tapia also had an active arrest warrant for a felony burglary case from 2015.

Detectives have been looking for Tapia since the April 20 attack, which occurred in front of the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurant at 590 Auto Center Dr. during daylight hours. The attack was captured on video.

popeyes robber arrest tapia mug web 5-24

Rangel Tapia

“Thanks to anonymous tips that we received from several community members, our detectives were able to identify the suspect and areas that he was known to frequent, including the Palm Avenue home where he was arrested,” WPD spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said.

Tapia confessed to the attack during a police interview, she said.

The victim has recovered from the injuries he suffered while trying to fend off the suspect with his cane.

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