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Taxi Fares Get Unexpected Pickup


A cabdriver with a cooperative nature delivered two robbery suspects to deputies Tuesday morning.


Shortly after 1:20 a.m., Newhall residents Hildardo Villareal, 18, and Francisco Flores, 20, entered the Alliance Gas station on Newhall Avenue and picked up two six-packs of beer.

According to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Hershey, when the manager confronted the pair about paying, one of the men threatened to hit him with a beer bottle. The manager stepped back and Villareal and Flores got into a taxicab that was at the gas station.


When deputies arrived to take a report, they called the cab company to see if the driver could identify the suspects. He offered to do them one better, as they apparently had just called for another ride.


Deputies monitored the taxi’s travel and once the two suspects got back into the cab, pulled over the vehicle and arrested the pair on suspicion of robbery.


Along with the suspects, deputies also recovered a handgun from the seat of the cab, which belonged to one of the suspects.


The two are currently in custody at the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station, each in lieu of $100,000 bail. They are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.