Paso Man Convicted in 2021 Crime Spree

Written by Estero Bay News

June 5, 2023

A Paso Robles man was convicted on a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges after a 4-day crime spree in November 2021 involving two robberies, a car jacking and resisting arrest.

District Attorney Dan Dow announced the conviction of Richard Quntan Garcia, 31 of Paso Robles of attempted robbery, robbery, carjacking, and reckless evasion of a peace officer. Garcia was also convicted of three misdemeanor counts of resisting, delaying, or obstructing a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of possession of methamphetamine. 

Garcia’s crime spree started shortly after 10 p.m. Nov. 24, 2001 when he entered a Carl’s Jr., restaurant in the 2700 block of Black Oak Dr., Paso Robles. He reported stuck a handgun in the face of a 15-year-old employee and demanded money, according to a news release. Another employee called 9-1-1 and Garcia fled the restaurant before police arrived and without getting any money. No one was injured in the attempted armed robbery. Three hours later, it would be a different story.

In the early morning of Nov. 25, Garcia, armed with a handgun, entered an all-night Chevron gas station in the 1800 block of Ramada Dr., again in Paso Robles. He demanded money from the store clerk and fired an apparent warning shot into the ceiling missing the clerk, who was not injured. 

The employee turned over the money from the register and Garcia fled the scene in a dark BMW sedan, according to the D.A.

An hour later, a Paso PD cruiser spotted the BMW and tried to pull it over. But Garcia sped off and took officers on a 15-mile high-speed chase up Nacimiento Lake Drive. The chase ended near the Lake Nacimiento Resort, where Garcia abandoned the BMW and ran off into the night. Again police lost him. Three days later, he resurfaced back in town.

On Nov. 28, the news release said, Garcia carjacked a woman outside an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Creston Rd. “The victim was seated in her car when Garcia opened her driver side door and ordered her out,” the D.A.’s release said. The woman told police that Garcia had something in his hand she thought might be a gun or knife. Once out of the car, she ran and Garcia took off in her car. 

Some 3-1/2 hours later, police found the stolen car abandoned but again Garcia had given them the slip. 

The next day, Nov. 29 his luck ran out when a PRPD officer spotted Garcia in the area of the carjacking. Again he fugitated but officers ran him down after about a half-mile sprint. Garcia was reportedly found to have meth in his pocket when arrested, the release said.

Garcia is now scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Tim Covello on June 20 in Superior Court. Covello also ruled on Garcia’s prior convictions, acknowledging for the record that he was previously convicted for “assault with a firearm for the benefit of a criminal street gang” and “assault with a firearm.” Both convictions count as strikes against him under the State’s Three Strikes Law. He faces 82-years to life in prison, plus 51 years.

Paso Robles Police Department was the lead investigators and the SLO County Sheriff’s Gang Taskforce, California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services, the D.A.’s Bureau of Investigation, and the D.A.’s Central Coast Cyber-Forensic Laboratory also worked the case. 

Deputy D.A. Scott Hunter, who is assigned to the Felony Trial Team, prosecuted Garcia.

Assistant D.A. Eric Dobroth said, “There is no place for violent crime in our community.  The District Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will use every tool available to hold violent criminals accountable. While thankful that no one suffered physical injury during this crime spree, we acknowledge the significant trauma experienced by the robbery and carjacking victims. A debt of gratitude to the jury for carefully evaluating the evidence necessary to bring Mr. Garcia to justice.”

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