Suspect in two Carmel Valley robberies arrested

The man who is believed to have robbed Carmel Valley's Royal Nursery baby boutique on Jan. 15 is now behind bars. San Diego Police arrested Carlos Estrada, 28, in Spring Valley two weeks ago and he was arraigned on April 16 for the alleged robbery of the Del Mar Highlands store, as well as an alleged robbery at the Carmel Valley Market.

Because both robberies were committed at gunpoint, Estrada, if convicted, could face up to 19 years and four months in prison, according to Andrea Shoop, deputy district attorney for the county of San Diego.

"I am relieved," said Mark Johns, the owner of the Royal Nursery, of the arrest. Johns testified at the April 16 hearing.

Johns was working in the store when the suspect came in that Friday around 6 p.m. Johns said he knew right away he was in trouble.

He was thankful that his miniature Chihuahua, Gracie, who comes to work with him every day, was sleeping in her bed behind the counter.

Johns said the suspect walked up to the counter and pulled a gun on him. Once he cocked the gun, Johns said he was scared because he felt the man would not hesitate to pull the trigger.

"I was calm throughout the whole thing. I didn't want to get shot," Johns said.

The man moved to the jewelry case in front of the store and demanded several items before leaving.

Estrada's trial date is set for June 4.

   
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