The alleged conspirator of robbery suspect Manuel Jones Villagomez owned up to the police and was arrested in Garapan Friday afternoon.
Benwachi Nicky Taisakan, 27, was arrested for robbery, conspiracy, and disturbing the peace. Villagomez, 39, who faces the same charges, surrendered to the Department of Public Safety in Susupe Friday morning.
According to a police report, detectives identified the suspects after Taisakan’s cell phone fell as the boyfriend of the victim was chasing him.
At a hearing yesterday, Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio imposed a $50,000 cash bail for each of the suspects. In addition, Kim-Tenorio imposed a $100 cash bail for Taisakan for a pending traffic case.
Preliminary hearing for both suspects will be on Jan. 28.
Assistant public defender Benjamin Petersburg appeared as counsel for Villagomez. The court will appoint a private lawyer for Taisakan.
Police detective Roque K. Camacho stated in his report that a police officer responded on Dec. 3 at 1:14am to a reported robbery incident in front of Aquarius Hotel, south of Garapan Elementary School.
Camacho said that two tourists were walking to their hotel when someone came up from behind them and grabbed the female tourist’s purse.
The suspect ran toward the 99 Cents Store. The boyfriend chased the suspect, who then hopped on an SUV that was moving slowly. The male tourist tried to get the car’s license plate, but the SUV made a right turn heading south. The male tourist, however, recovered a cellular phone that fell from the suspect.
The female tourist stated that her purse contained $900 cash, two passports, an iPhone 5, credit cards, and hotel key.
Crime scene technicians got hold of the cell phone and a pair of Scotts slippers that was also found at the scene. A crime scene technician opened the phone and identified the picture on the wallpaper as Taisakan.
In an interview with detectives on Jan. 13, Taisakan allegedly admitted he was the one who grabbed the purse from the tourist and that the driver of the getaway vehicle was Villagomez.
Camacho said that, according to Taisakan, Villagomez picked him up at his house in Koblerville and they both smoked methamphetamine or “ice.” As they were smoking, Villagomez allegedly stated he really needs money because he used the money his girlfriend gave him.
Taisakan claimed that they drove to Garapan, where Villagomez instructed him to grab a tourist’s bag. Taisakan said he repeatedly refused to do it because he was scared but Villagomez insisted.
Taisakan said he gave the purse to Villagomez, who then dropped him off at his house.
Camacho said he later showed Taisakan a photo of the cell phone and the pair of Scotts slippers that were left behind at the scene.
Camacho said that Taisakan admitted owning the cell phone and the slippers.
The detective said that further investigation revealed that Villagomez’s girlfriend owns a gray/silver Nissan Pathfinder that, according to Taisakan, was the one they used for the robbery.