Alamo man arrested in connection with grocery store kidnapping - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Alamo man arrested in connection with grocery store kidnapping

Accused of forcing woman at gunpoint into her car

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Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 8:30 am

SAN JUAN — A man wanted in connection with an alleged kidnapping in May is now facing serious felony charges after Mexican authorities turned him over to local law enforcement.

Jesus Alejandro Perales Gaona currently faces one aggravated kidnapping and one aggravated robbery charge in connection with a May 27 incident. Police allege Perales held a woman at gunpoint and forced her to turn over her car to him, before dumping her in a secluded field.

On May 27, the woman reported she was taken at gunpoint by an unidentified man from the parking lot of a San Juan grocery store.

The woman, from Alamo, told San Juan police that around 7 a.m. that day, in the parking lot of Junior’s Supermarket in the 100 block of East Farm-to-Market Road 495 in San Juan, a man approached her from behind as she opened the door to her Jeep and told her to give him the keys.

“(The victim) stated she then felt an object she believed to be a handgun at her side,” the complaint read.

Subsequently, the woman told police Perales then requested her to get inside her vehicle, as he made his way into the driver’s seat.

Perales allegedly then told the woman to turn off her cellphone, and to close her eyes.

“(The victim) stated she was held against her will as the male jammed what she believes was a handgun into her side,” the document read.

The victim told police that Perales drove them near an area where there was a lake, before telling her to get out in a “secluded field,” and additionally threatened the woman not to report the carjacking “or the male would kill her and her family,” the complaint read.

The woman eventually walked over to a store near the intersection of Ramseyer and Cesar Chavez roads.

Police investigators obtained surveillance footage from the parking lot of the aforementioned grocery store.

Perales is seen arriving in a white Ford F-150 pickup truck around the same time the alleged victim had just entered the grocery store.

The footage shows the victim make her way to her vehicle, parked near the front of the store, and then Perales approach her from behind, and then leave the parking lot as the driver of the Jeep.

The day after the carjacking and kidnapping, investigators with the San Juan Police Department, made contact with a man, who was listed as a confidential source in the complaint against Perales, who claimed he had given Perales a ride the day before and dropped him off at the Junior’s Supermarket.

He said he came in contact with Perales after he received a call from him claiming to have found a cellphone that belonged to the man’s father.

He agreed to meet Perales at a convenience store at the intersection of Farm-to-Market 107 and Val Verde Road.

The source said he met with Perales, who gave him his father’s cellphone, and requested a ride to the supermarket parking lot.

“At the Junior’s parking lot, (Perales) informed the confidential source that he was lucky as (Perales) pulled up his shirt displaying a brown handgun in his waistband...” the complaint read.

Perales then, while displaying his handgun, told the man “you never saw me,” before exiting the vehicle.

On Saturday, San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez announced that police, with help from the U.S. Marshals Service, had apprehended Perales at an international bridge in connection with the kidnapping in late May.

The 33-year-old Alamo man was booked and charged on the two charges, and currently remains in custody at the Hidalgo County jail on a $1 million bond.

Perales, who has some incidents of arrest, was last arrested in 2014 by Alamo police for being a fugitive and failing to provide identification, in 2008 by Edinburg police for accident involving damage, and driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle, and again in 2005 by the Department of Public Safety for driving while intoxicated, county records show.

If convicted of the aggravated robbery charge, a first degree felony, Perales faces between five and 99 years in prison.

Gonzalez said Monday that Perales is the fifth suspect to be brought back from Mexico just this year.

“We are fortunate that we have good police relations with the Mexican police on these type of wanted fugitives,” Gonzalez said. “These suspected criminals are a danger to people on both sides of the border. The U.S. (Marshals Service) are always great partners for us in tracking down fugitives.”

lzazueta@themonitor.com

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