Suspects in Indio Hotel Robbery Attempt Suspected in Other Heists

Suspects in Indio Hotel Robbery Attempt Suspected in Other Heists

News Staff

A suspect who was shot by federal agents during an attempted robbery at an Indio hotel, along with another man arrested at the scene, were being investigated for a series of armed robberies in Orange County, authorities said Tuesday.

Manuel Luna, 20, of Corona, was shot by agents with the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives during the Friday night robbery attempt at the Best Western Date Tree Hotel in the 81900 block of Indio Boulevard, just west of Monroe Street, according to the ATF.

His alleged accomplice, Matthew Hetrick, 21, of Klamath Falls, Oregon, was waiting near the hotel as a getaway driver and was arrested at the scene, ATF officials said.

According to the ATF, the pair had been under surveillance by the federal agency, along with detectives from the Irvine, Fullerton and Brea police departments. The pair were suspected in a series of armed robberies and attempted robberies that occurred in Orange County between Feb. 11 and March 13, ATF officials said.

At about 9:45 p.m. Friday, investigators spotted the pair parked near the Indio hotel, then watched Luna run into the building — wearing a black ski mask, hooded sweatshirt, camouflage pants and tactical gloves — and jump over the lobby desk brandishing what appeared to be a silver handgun, according to the ATF. Luna then ran out of the lobby toward agents waiting outside, refusing orders to drop the weapon, leading ATF agents to shoot him, according to the agency.

The gun he was holding was later determined to be a replica, ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun said.

Luna’s condition was not immediately known, but Colbrun said he remained hospitalized.

Both suspects are charged in federal court in Santa Ana with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, under the Hobbs Act, according to the ATF.

If convicted, the pair could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.