PASO ROBLES — District Attorney Dan Dow announced on Tuesday, August 1, that Richard Quntan Garcia (31) of Paso Robles had been sentenced to 41 years plus 77 years to life in prison for attempted robbery, robbery, carjacking, and reckless evasion of a peace officer, with prior convictions under California’s Three Strikes Law.
On May 11, a San Luis Obispo County jury convicted Garcia of robbery, attempted robbery, carjacking, and reckless evading of a peace officer. The jury also found that Garcia displayed a handgun in the attempted robbery and shot a handgun during the completed robbery. Garcia was also convicted of three misdemeanor counts of resisting, delaying, or obstructing a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of possession of methamphetamine.
In a separate hearing, Judge Covello found that Garcia has suffered prior convictions for assault with a firearm for the benefit of a criminal street gang and assault with a firearm, both serious or violent ‘strikes’ under California’s Three Strikes Law.
During the trial the jury heard evidence of a multi-day crime spree perpetrated by Garcia. Shortly after 10 p.m. on November 24, 2021, Garcia entered Carl’s Jr. restaurant in the 2700 block of Black Oak Drive in Paso Robles and demanded money from a 15-year-old employee while pointing a handgun about six inches from the employee’s face. Another employee quickly contacted law enforcement and Garcia fled the restaurant without obtaining any money.
Three hours later, in the early morning of November 25, 2021, Garcia entered the Chevron Gas Station located in the 1800 block of Ramada Drive in Paso Robles. Again, Garcia was armed with a handgun. He demanded money from the employee and fired a gunshot over the employee’s shoulder and into the ceiling. The employee turned over money from the store’s cash register and Garcia fled in a dark BMW sedan.
One hour after the Chevron robbery, Paso Robles police officers located a dark gray BMW. When the officer was positioned to stop the BMW, the vehicle fled causing a fifteen-mile high-speed pursuit along rural Nacimiento Lake Drive. The pursuit ended near Lake Nacimiento Resort, where Garcia fled on foot. He was not caught at that time.
Three days later, on November 28, 2021, Garcia carjacked a female victim outside of an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Creston in Paso Robles. The victim was seated in her car when Garcia opened her driver side door and ordered her out. The victim saw an item in Garcia’s hand she believed may have been a gun or a knife. The victim ran from her vehicle. Garcia got in and drove off. The car was found where it had been abandoned about three and a half hours later.
The next day, on November 29, 2021, Garcia was spotted by Paso Robles police officers in the area of the carjacking. Garcia ran but was arrested after a half-mile foot pursuit. When officers searched him, methamphetamine was found in his pocket.
“Richard Garcia’s violent crime spree was a menace to our community and my office is committed to aggressive enforcement of California’s Three Strikes sentencing laws for serious and violent offenders,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “This sentence of life in prison is a message that should strongly discourage any other individuals from bringing their criminal activities here.”
The case was investigated by the Paso Robles Police Department, with the assistance of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Gang Taskforce, California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services, District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, and District Attorney’s Central Coast Cyber-Forensic Laboratory. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Scott Hunter who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Felony Trial Team.