A man who said he had been released from Wasco State Prison on Sunday was arrested Monday afternoon after he allegedly stole an iPod out of a person’s car near a junk yard and then punched the victim in the face when confronted, according to county sheriff’s officials.
Fernando Manuel Salas, 30, was arrested on suspicion of strong-arm robbery at the state parole office in Santa Maria and was being held in San Luis Obispo County Jail on Tuesday.
Salas is being held in San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail for the alleged strong-arm robbery. He is also being held on a state parole hold, meaning he will not be able to post bail on the arrest from San Luis Obispo County.
A man told sheriff’s deputies that he had gone to a junk yard in the 800 block of Sheridan Road to look for vehicle parts at about 4 p.m. and had parked his car near the yard, according to a Sheriff’s Department news release.
He saw a man, later identified as Salas, inside his car. He went to confront Salas, he told deputies. Salas punched him in the face and left in a van driven by another man. Sheriff’s deputies said they don’t think the man who gave Salas a ride was aware of the alleged robbery.
The victim followed the van to the state parole office in Santa Maria, where Salas was reportedly going to check in with a parole officer. State parole officers and Santa Maria police detained Salas until San Luis Obispo County deputies arrived.