by Cindy Summers
Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Carjacking / Hit and Run Arrest
On June 30, at approximately 4:30 pm, Ventura Police Patrol officers responded to a report of a carjacking which just occurred in the 5700 block of Telephone Rd. The victim was sitting in her vehicle when the suspect approached her and pulled her out of the vehicle. The suspect threw the victim to the ground and took the keys to her vehicle. The suspect then fled the area in the victim’s vehicle, running over the victim’s foot in the process. The victim suffered minor injuries as a result of the collision.
At approximately 11:45 pm, the California Highway Patrol stopped the victim’s stolen vehicle in the city of Oxnard after a traffic pursuit that began in Los Angeles County. The driver of the stolen vehicle, 20 year old Gerd Pineda, was safely taken into custody by California Highway Patrol officers. Pineda was also identified as the carjacking suspect. Pineda was arrested by the California Highway Patrol for charges related to the traffic pursuit and he was arrested by Ventura Police for the Carjacking and Hit and Run incident. The recovered stolen vehicle was returned to the victim. Neither the suspect nor officers were injured as a result of this incident.
Attempted Robbery with arrest
On June 30, at approximately 10:00 pm, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a 911 call from the Victim, who was reporting a robbery just occurred in front of the business.
During the investigation, officers learned the suspects saw the victim walking in the area. Collin Potter, 24 year old Ventura resident, and 18 year old Ventura resident Christo Benitez drove by the victim and parked nearby. Potter and Benitez approached the Victim on foot and pointed a handgun at the victim demanding money and his wallet. The victim refused to give over his wallet as an unrelated vehicle entered the parking lot. Potter and Benitez saw the unrelated vehicle and fled the area in their vehicle.
Officers were quickly able to identify Potter as the suspect with the firearm. Detectives with the Ventura Police Street Crimes Unit were able to locate Potter and conduct surveillance on him in the area of Saticoy in Ventura. During the surveillance Potter was seen with Benitez, who was identified as the second suspect in the attempted robbery. Potter, Benitez and a third subject were seen entering a vehicle and driving away.
VPD Gang unit detectives along with patrol officers were able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle and both Potter and Benitez were taken into custody without incident. The driver of the vehicle was detained for a short time and released from the scene.
Potter is currently out on bail for Assault with a deadly weapon (Firearm), Robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, brandishing a firearm, and Hit and Run. He is a documented Gang member and is on active Probation with Post Release Offender Status and gang terms.
Benitez is a documented gang member.