BY GABBY FERREIRA
January 18, 2018 02:38 PM
San Luis Obispo police have arrested an Uber driver from Santa Maria who they say escorted intoxicated women into their homes and then raped them.
On Wednesday, San Luis Obispo police served a search warrant at the home of 39-year-old Alfonso Alarconnunez in the 2300 block of Cesar Chavez Drive in Santa Maria, officials said. Alarconnunez was identified as a suspect in two separate sexual assault cases with multiple victims in SLO: one in the early morning of Dec. 18 and the other on Jan. 14, police said in a news release on Thursday.
Police say Alarconnunez, an Uber driver, targeted intoxicated women, gave them rides home and escorted them inside, where he then sexually assaulted them. Police said they believe Alarconnunez also stole property from the victims, including jewelry, cellphones and computers.
Police detectives believe Alarconnunez searched for parties in San Luis Obispo and solicited rides as an Uber driver. He would then collect payment through Venmo, a pay service app, to disguise his identity and his Uber records, police said.
Capt. Chris Staley said police have identified two victims in the December case and one in the January case. Staley said police first connected Alarconnunez to the Jan. 14 assault, and further investigation revealed he was connected to the Dec. 18 incident as well.
When police searched Alarconnunez’s home, police found several items of property belonging to the victims.
Alarconnunez was arrested on suspicion of eight charges, including two counts of rape of an unconscious victim and one count of rape of a drugged victim, as well as additional charges of grand theft, burglary and oral copulation with an unconscious victim.
He was taken to San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to jail records.
“There’s a lot of things outstanding that we’re still trying to piece together,” Staley said. “There may be additional charges we’re trying to request through the District Attorney’s Office.”
Since the arrest was made public at about 2 p.m. Thursday, Staley said the department has been contacted by a few people who’ve interacted with Alarconnunez, though he could not say whether those interactions took place around the same time as the assaults or at another time.
Police ask everyone with information regarding Alarconnunez, or anyone who believes they were a victim of assault or theft, to notify their local law enforcement agency.
Police urge everyone to confirm the identity of the driver and vehicle they request through the Uber or Lyft apps before getting into a vehicle. Payment should also be made through Uber or Lyft and not another payment service.