June 27, 2016

Armed Robbers Arrested In Under an Hour! Great Teamwork SCPD & CHP

On early Friday morning 06/24/16 at about 12:32 am, SCPD Officers responded to the 100 block of Trinity Street for a reported armed robbery at knifepoint. The suspects were described as a white male and a Hispanic male in an older white Honda that drove away on Leibrandt Ave after stealing the victim's wallet. With the vehicle description, Santa Cruz Police initiated “Project R.O.P.E.” (Project R.O.P.E. is a multi-agency cooperative where likely travel and escape routes are monitored by law enforcement in Santa Cruz County). A short time later, SCPD and CHP stopped the suspects on Water Street.

George Karagianoupulos, 34 years old from Santa Cruz
The two suspects Aaron Abeyta, 36 years old and George Karagianoupulos, 34 years old were arrested for committing an armed robbery with a knife and attempting to “slash” one of the victims as they made off with his wallet, ID, social security card and cash.
Aaron Abeyta, 36 years old from Santa Cruz
The victims, two Hispanic males age 22 and 21 years old were walking home when they noticed an older white Honda speeding towards them.

The car stopped and the driver, George Karagianoupulos called out asking what gang affiliation they claimed. The pair replied that they were not gang members.

Aaron Abeyta and George Karagianoupulos got out of the car.  Karagianoupulos confronted the victims with a knife and demanded they empty their pockets.  The victims handed over their belongings including a wallet. While in the process of surrendering their belongings, Karagianoupulos punched the other victim in the face. The suspects then got back into the car and sped away down Leibrandt towards Riverside Ave.

Great police teamwork all the way around caught the suspects Aaron Abeyta and George Karagianoupulos before they could get away. Both suspects were positively identified and arrested. The stolen property and knife were recovered in the white 1997 Honda Accord belonging to Karagianoupulos.

SCPD returned the stolen money back to the victim, along with his wallet, ID and credit cards.