A man authorities were hunting for Thursday after he and a female accomplice allegedly tried to burglarize a pharmacy in Pismo Beach was caught when he later went to County Jail, apparently to bail her out, a detective said.
Taken into custody was Armond Abramian, 33, of Glendale. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary, fleeing from officers and possession of stolen property; booking had not yet occurred as of 8 p.m. Thursday.
His arrest came after the early morning capture of Darney Romero, 24, of San Fernando Valley. She was caught while trying to flee from the CVS store on Oak Park Boulevard in Pismo Beach. Romero was booked into County Jail on charges of conspiracy to commit burglary and evading officers and was jailed in lieu of posting $20,000 bail.
Abramian was caught after 4 p.m. when he tried to drive to County Jail, apparently to post Romero’s bail, said Sgt. Steve Weir of the Pismo Beach Police Department.
Sheriff’s deputies, as well as police officers from San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach, were helping keep surveillance of key locations where Abramian might go. Weir would not disclose those locations. But when Abramian’s vehicle was spotted, it was followed to Highway 1 and Kansas Avenue, the road that leads to the sheriff’s headquarters and the jail.
“It appeared he was on his way to pick her up” from the jail, said Weir, referring to Romero.
According to Rob Bryn of the Sheriff’s Department, the car the suspect was in parked in the lot next to the sheriff’s headquarters. Undercover deputies pulled up alongside and surreptitiously identified Abramian.
He then grew suspicious and drove back on Kansas Avenue toward Highway 1, Bryn said. But other deputies were waiting for him and stopped the car. They drew their guns, ordered him out and detained him.
The drama began much earlier in the day. Pismo Beach officers got a be-on-the-lookout alert at 3 a.m. from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department about burglaries at CVS stores in Ventura and Buellton.
Thinking the burglars were probably headed north, an officer set up surveillance on the CVS store on Oak Park.
Shortly after 3:45 a.m., the officer saw a charcoal blue Mercedes drive up in front of the store. A man dressed in black got out of the car and used a pry tool to break into the store through the front door.
“It was a one-in-a-million shot,” Weir said. “How many times do you see a burglary happen right in front of you?”
The officer approached the car, which began to drive away. The man ran out of the store carrying a storage container half full of cigarettes.
The suspect ran to catch up to the car, but it left without him. The man abandoned the cigarettes and fled on foot, Weir said. Officers stopped the car and arrested Romero.
Weir said Abramian is believed to be part of an organized effort focused on stealing cigarettes then reselling them.
Some of the alleged resale occurs in neighborhood stores in Los Angeles, Weir said.
Tribune staff writers Bill Morem and David Sneed contributed to this report.