Man accused of robbing ice cream vendors

Additional robbery charges added for Christian Cervantes after police pursuit

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The man who led officers on a high-speed chase through Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage on Thursday, was identified in additional armed robberies after being arrested, according to police.

Christian Cervantes, 23, was taken into custody following a police pursuit that began after he stole a landscaper's wallet in the 68700 Block of Tortuga Road at about 1:20 p.m. The chase ended when Cervantes crashed his Ford Mustang while weaving through traffic on Monterey Avenue in Rancho Mirage.

Cervantes was charged with robbery, felony evading, assault with a deadly weapon and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

But following his arrest, police determined he fit the description of a man accused of robbing an ice cream vendor on June 28 in Cathedral City. In that incident, an ice cream vendor was walking near Avenida El Mundo north of Ramon Road when a man on foot pulled a handgun on him and demanded his money.

After Cervantes was arrested Thursday night, police contacted the ice cream vendor and he identified Cervantes as the man who robbed him in June. But the charges against Cervantes didn't stop there.

Later that evening, the Cathedral City Police Department  received a call from another ice cream vendor who said he had been robbed earlier in the day around 11:40 a.m. The victim said he was pushing his cart near Ramon Road and Cathedral Canyon when a man driving a Ford Mustang pulled a gun on him and stole his cash.

Police said the victim waited several hours to report the crime out of fear of retaliation.

Both ice cream vendors identified Cervantes as the man who robbed them.

Officers tacked on additional charges of robbery and Cervantes was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

Authorities believe there may be additional victims who haven't come forward to report similar crimes. Anyone who may have been a victim or those with information about these crimes is asked to call the Cathedral City Police Department at &760) 770-0300.

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