Po­lice fol­low trail of de­bris to nab rob­bery sus­pects

Austin American-Statesman - - LOCALBRIEFING - By Nau­reen Khan nkhan@states­man.com; 445-3663

Po­lice said two men who held up a Mex­i­can res­tau­rant in North­east Austin on Sun­day night were thwarted by two passers-by who fol­lowed the rob­bers — de­spite be­ing threat­ened and shot at — and who in­ad­ver­tently gave po­lice a trail to fol­low when the rob­bers jumped in a pickup and rammed their car from be­hind.

Car­los Var­gas-Zavala, 25, and Paul An­thony Re­bol­loso, 24, held up Los Jali­scienses res­tau­rant at 6201 E. U.S. 290 about 11 p.m. Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to an ar­rest af­fi­davit. One of the men wielded a pis­tol, and both wore white hand­ker­chiefs over their faces, the af­fi­davit said.

Mar­gar­tio Morales-Morales and Martin Bel­montes were driv­ing in Bel­montes’ car when they saw Var­gas-Zavala and Re­bol­loso — one car­ry­ing a cash reg­is­ter and the other car­ry­ing a gun — run­ning to- ward Sheri­dan Av­enue from the di­rec­tion of the res­tau­rant, the af­fi­davit said.

When Bel­montes pulled the car closer, Morales yelled to the men, ask­ing what they were do­ing, the af­fi­davit said. The man with the gun threat­ened to kill Bel­montes and Morales if they didn’t leave and then fired the gun into the air, the af­fi­davit said.

Bel­montes called po­lice and con­tin­ued to fol­low the men in his car, the af­fi­davit said.

When the man car­ry­ing the gun saw that he was still be­ing fol­lowed, he turned and fired three times at the car but missed, po­lice said.

Var­gas-Zavala and Re­bol­loso got into their pickup and be­gan to fol­low Bel­montes’ car, then rammed it twice, spin­ning it into an­other ve­hi­cle, the af­fi­davit said. The truck then lost con­trol and struck a pole be­fore flee­ing — leav­ing be­hind a trail of de­bris and fluid.

Po­lice fol­lowed the de­bris to an apart­ment com­plex at 1114 Camino La Costa — less than a mile from the crash site — and found the dam­aged truck with the cash reg­is­ter in the bed, the af­fi­davit said.

They found Re­bol­loso in the park­ing lot of the Ex­tended Stay Deluxe ho­tel a few blocks away and Var­gas-Zavala hid­ing in a trash bin, the af­fi­davit said.

The af­fi­davit said that Var­gas-Zavala con­fessed to the rob­bery but that Re­bol­loso de­nied in­volve­ment, al­though po­lice said he ac­knowl­edged that the pis­tol — which was found near a build­ing in the apart­ment com­plex — was his.

Both men have been charged with ag­gra­vated rob­bery with a deadly weapon and at­tempted cap­i­tal murder, both first­de­gree felonies, and are be­ing held on $100,000 bail, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

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