SLO County Roundup

San Luis Obispo

A Grover Beach man accused of carjacking a woman at gunpoint near Cal Poly on Wednesday evening has been arrested in Santa Barbara County.

Ryan Joseph Soqui, 23, was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on Friday after local law enforcement agents tracked him to the Highway 101 rest area near the Gaviota Tunnel, according to the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Local investigators traveled to Santa Barbara County after they got a tip that Soqui was going to meet a Grover Beach woman in Isla Vista.

With the help of the San Luis Obispo County Narcotic Task Force and the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team, officers conducted surveillance on her vehicle as she left Isla Vista and headed north on Highway 101, and they saw that a male passenger was inside.

When the car parked at the rest stop about 6 p.m., officers identified the passenger as Soqui.

He was arrested on suspicion of carjacking, kidnapping and robbery. A BB gun resembling a semiautomatic handgun was found in the car. The woman driving the car was interviewed in San Luis Obispo and then released.

Acting on another tip, San Luis Obispo police had earlier traveled to Los Angeles and obtained help from police there in looking for Soqui at places he once frequented.

At 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Soqui allegedly forced a 23-year-old woman to drive to a San Luis Obispo bank and withdraw $300 from an ATM, where she fled, according to police.

Grover Beach police and sheriff’s deputies tried to stop the Audi that had been reported stolen, but its driver sped away, and then fled after the car jumped an embankment.

Because Soqui was reported to have been armed during the alleged carjacking, authorities called the SWAT team to search a vacant home, but the suspect wasn’t inside.

— Tribune staff report

SLO County

Local teachers, staff and PTA members raised $10,323 for their schools in October while working behind the counter at area McDonald’s restaurants, according to an announcement from the Central Coast franchises’ owner.

The McTeacher’s Night fundraiser directed 20 percent of the sales to participating schools.

Participating schools included Oceano Elementary; Virginia Peterson and Pat Butler elementary schools in Paso Robles; San Gabriel Elementary in Atascadero; Vineyard Elementary in Templeton; and Nipomo Elementary.

— Tonya Strickland