Brothers arrested in separate kidnappings months apart in Santa Ana

Local news

Two brothers were arrested in separate kidnappings that occurred months apart in Santa Ana, officials said Friday.

Jaime Magaña Arechiga, 37, and Sergio Magaña Arechiga, 50, both allegedly kidnapped older adults, but the incidents are not related.

Sergio Magaña Arechiga (left) and Jaime Magaña Arechiga (right) are shown in photos released by the Santa Ana Police Department in 2020.
Sergio Magaña Arechiga (left) and Jaime Magaña Arechiga (right) are shown in photos released by the Santa Ana Police Department in 2020.

In the latest incident, the younger Arechiga allegedly kidnapped a 67-year-old disabled woman who was sitting in the front passenger seat of her vehicle about noon Oct. 3 while her husband was in a grocery store at 5111 W. Edinger Ave.

The victim pleaded with the suspect to return to the market, but Jaime Arechiga refused and kept driving, Santa Ana police said in a news release.

He allegedly drove around with the stolen vehicle with the victim still inside for about 45 minutes.

The victim’s husband called her to ask what happened, but she was unable to provide locations because of her limited vision, police said.

The suspect eventually drove to Centennial Park and told the victim to stay in the vehicle while he walked away with the keys.

The victim’s sister and brother-in-law eventually responded to the park after they were able to determine where the victim was and confronted the suspect, police said.

He allegedly rummaged through the vehicle before walking away.

The victim’s sister was able to take a photo of the suspect before he left the scene, which led to his identity: Orange County Probation officials recognized the suspect from the photo because he is on probation for resisting arrest and restraining order violations, police said.

Jaime Arechiga was located at his family’s home on Thursday and arrested on suspicion of carjacking, kidnapping and false imprisonment of an elder or dependent adult.

His bail was set at more than $1 million.

Police said Jaime Arechiga has a criminal record spanning over 22 years, with arrests for burglary, resisting arrest, making criminal threats and drug-related charges.

His brother, who also has a lengthy criminal record, was arrested in June.

In that incident, Sergio Magaña Arechiga, allegedly kidnapped an 82-year-old man during a burglary and forced him to buy food, alcohol and clothing.

Like in Saturday’s ordeal, the victim at one point was able to alert his family and a security guard that he was being held against his will.

After allegedly breaking into the victim’s Santa Ana home and forcing him to drive to several locations, the suspect was caught on surveillance video forcing the victim to purchase clothes at a Warehouse Shoe Sale.

The victim’s son managed to track his father’s location with a cellphone and found the victim sitting in the passenger seat of his vehicle, but Sergio Arechiga was gone.

He was arrested days later at a family member’s house after a disturbance call was made.

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