The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
Trio of carjacking suspects under arrest
April 10, 2019
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif – On Wednesday, April 3 at about 11:38 p.m., deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department - Morongo Basin Station, were flagged down in the 73400 block of Twentynine Palms Highway, in Twentynine Palms by the victims stating their vehicle was stolen.
After investigation, deputies discovered the victims met the three suspects at a local motel. The victims provided the suspects with a ride to a convenience store. The suspects gave the victims directions to stop in the desert area near the intersection of Baseline Road and Adobe Road. The victims were ordered out of the vehicle. When one of the victims refused, he was struck with a handgun (pistol whipped). The suspects left the victims in the desert.
Deputies searched for the suspects and the vehicle, but were unable to locate either. Later, early in the morning of April 4, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers from the El Centro office stopped the vehicle.
Austin Byrnes (age 20 of Twentynine Palms) was arrested and booked into the Imperial County jail for possession of a stolen vehicle. Through investigation, Daniel Wineteer (age 18 of Yucca Valley) and Damian Reese (age 30 of Twentynine Palms) were positively identified as the other two suspects. On April 5 warrants were issued for the arrest of Byrnes, Wineteer and Reese.
On April 6 deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department - Morongo Basin Station located and arrested Wineteer and Reese for their warrants. Byrnes will be transferred to San Bernardino County later.
Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Morongo Basin Station at (760)366-4175.
Persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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