CRANSTON, R.I (WPRI) — Police in Cranston have charged two men both believed to be involved in two separate armed robberies and assaults on Tuesday.
The suspects are identified as Noel Rodriguez, 28, of Providence, and George Santana, 26, with no known address.
On Monday, police said they were notified that a white Honda CRV with a Maine license plate had been stolen in a violent armed carjacking that occurred in both Providence and Massachusetts.
After two unsuccessful attempts at locating the vehicle, police were informed Rodriguez and Santana “were out speeding from city to city looking for victims.”
Then on Tuesday, just hours after police were initially notified, the department received a 911 call from Whipple Avenue where a man claimed he was robbed at gunpoint, then pistol-whipped as he was leaving his vehicle.
Police said the victim in that incident was transported to Rhode Island Hospital for head injuries.
Shortly after police began investigating the previous incident, officers received another 911 call shortly after 3 a.m. from Vinton Avenue that the two suspects assaulted a man and a pregnant woman, stole their white Mercedes and sped off in it.
Officers later learned Rodriguez and Santana followed the couple from a gas station nearby to their home on Vinton Avenue.
Police said the suspects pulled up in the stolen Honda CRV, approached the couple, then put a gun to the man’s head before robbing him of his money and iPhone. Santana then started striking the male victim with the gun, according to police.
At this moment, police said Rodriguez turned and punched the pregnant woman in the face, knocking her to the ground.
Police said the 911 call was initially reported as a shooting since the female victim saw the pistol whipping, however, “he had not been shot and in the confusion with the blood the female thought he was after witnessing the gun and blood.”
The gun in that incident was never discharged, police added.
The Cranston Police Department began alerting surrounding departments, including Warwick, of the incidents since it was believed the suspects were nearby.
Police in Warwick later notified Cranston that a patrolling officer found the stolen vehicles in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Jefferson Boulevard.
The discovery led to an hours-long standoff with both men refusing to leave their motel room, during which police learned two young children were with them.
After several hours of negotiations, Rodriguez and Santana peacefully surrendered and were immediately taken into custody.
The children were not hurt in the incident, however, both were taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for evaluation.
Police believe Rodriguez and Santana have been implicated in armed robberies, violent assaults, vehicle thefts, larcenies and other crimes throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Both men are facing a series of charges, including first-degree armed robbery and carjacking. Rodriguez has also been charged with assault and Santana is facing several firearms violations, including two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon while committing a crime of violence.
Rodriguez and Santana were both ordered held without bail during their arraignments Wednesday.