A couple was arrested in Irvine Wednesday after allegedly stealing a car and kidnapping its owner, officials announced Thursday.
Daniel Ramirez, 28, was taken into custody on suspicion of kidnapping and assaulting a man, while his 27-year-old girlfriend, Mallory Arredondo, was arrested for an outstanding warrant, the Irvine Police Department said in a news release.
Around 9 a.m. Wednesday, officers responded to an apartment community in the area of Irvine Center Drive and Spectrum, regarding an investigation into a possible stolen vehicle.
The victim said he met Ramirez and Arredondo a few days prior, and they asked to borrow his car Wednesday. When he refused, they took his car without permission did not return for several hours, police said.
Just before 12:30 p.m., an officer saw the victim’s vehicle and attempted an enforcement stop. But the driver sped away and a short pursuit took place, according to the department.
The officer halted the pursuit due to the driver’s high speed and “the danger it posed to the public,” Irvine Police said.
A short time later, officers found the vehicle unoccupied and parked with the engine running in the underground parking garage of the victim’s apartment building. The officers made repeated attempts to contact the victim by phone but there was no answer, the department said.
“Due to the suspicious circumstances, officers feared the victim was inside his residence and was
possibly in danger,” the news release states.
Authorities began evacuating neighboring apartments and requested that the Orange County Fire Authority respond to provide immediate aid to anyone who may be injured.
Police used a drone to surveil the area and to make announcements. Following one such announcement, the victim exited the apartment, with the door closing promptly behind him, officials said.
The victim told police that the two suspects were inside, and that the man was in possession of multiple firearms and had pistol whipped him.
The pair inside, identified as Ramirez and Arredondo, barricaded the door and refused to come out.
The department’s SWAT and crisis negotiations team responded to the scene. After unsuccessful negotiations, multiple “less-lethal projectiles” were used to break the windows of the apartment, Irvine Police said.
Arredondo got out of the apartment just before 8:45 p.m., and Ramirez surrendered approximately 10 minutes later. They were both detained at the scene.
A search warrant was later executed at the apartment, where a a non-serialized AR-15 assault rifle, two handguns and ammunition were recovered, police said.
All of the firearms were in various stages of disassembly. and detectives said they believe Ramirez disassembled the weapons when officers were negotiating his surrender.
Ramirez was arrested and booked at Orange County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and outstanding warrants. Detectives said they’ll request the O.C. District Attorney’s office add firearm charges against him.
Arredondo was arrested for her outstanding warrant and was cited then released from police
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Jason Renshaw at
949-724-7244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.