Woman carjacked in Paso Robles, taken to San Ardo and raped, police say

bmorem@thetribunenews.comJune 25, 2013 

Edson Salazar Tapia, 21, of San Ardo was arrested Monday, June 24, 2013, on suspicion of carjacking, forcible rape, auto theft and kidnapping. Original story »

A 19-year-old woman was raped at gunpoint Sunday evening after being carjacked by two men in Paso Robles, according to police.

Sheriff's deputies were contacted around 11:50 p.m. Sunday by a woman in San Miguel, according to a news release from the Paso Robles Police Department. It was later determined that the incident began in Paso Robles earlier that evening, and the investigation was turned over to Paso Robles police.

Police learned the woman had been accosted by two men while getting gas at a service station in the 100 block of Niblick Road about 8:30 p.m.

According to police, the woman said she had been forced to drive the men to San Ardo in Monterey County. After they arrived, one of the men left while the other man stayed with the woman. That man then sexually assaulted the woman at gunpoint inside the vehicle before taking her to San Miguel.

The woman was able to escape from the car in San Miguel, police said, and the man drove away in her vehicle. She called 911, but the man was gone by the time deputies arrived. The woman suffered minor injuries, according to police.

Around 3:10 a.m. Monday, deputies from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office found the woman’s vehicle unoccupied and abandoned in San Ardo. The vehicle was processed for evidence by Paso Robles police detectives with the assistance of the California Department of Justice crime lab.

By 11 a.m. Monday, Paso Robles detectives tracked down two suspects in San Ardo. As a result of the investigation, one of the men was arrested and taken to the Paso Robles police station. He's been identified as 21-year-old Edson Tapia of San Ardo.

According to the news release, the other man found in San Ardo was released after being interviewed because detectives could not establish probable cause to arrest him. The investigation is ongoing.

The weapon used in the crime was determined to be an imitation firearm.

Tapia was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of carjacking, forcible rape, auto theft and kidnapping and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Paso Robles police at 237-6464. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 805-549-STOP, submit a tip from the Crime Stoppers website at http://www.slotips.org, or text "slotips" and a message to CRIMES (or 274637).

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