CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A rape suspect has been arrested and identified after a standoff in a Pleasant Hill Nordstrom Rack, KRON4 News confirmed shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The suspect has been identified as Joseph Alan Ramos, 26, of Concord. Police had said earlier he likely escaped from the Nordstrom Rack in Pleasant Hill, which police surrounded for 13 hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday, leaving around 7 a.m.
After Central County SWAT left the scene, Nordstrom Rack decided to keep the store closed to the public. Pleasant Hill Police Department chose to leave one undercover detective at the scene to monitor the business in case the suspect was still inside.
Around 11:45 a.m., Ramos climbed down from the ceiling where he was hiding and exited through the back door of the store. He didn’t make it far, according to police. He was tackled by Nordstrom Rack loss prevention agents and taken into custody by Pleasant Hill PD.
The Pittsburgh Police Department is responsible for the original arrest warrant for Ramos. The department will take over the investigation and assume custody of Ramos.
Officers tried to negotiate all night but were unable to establish contact with the suspect.
Police believed the suspect may have gotten away by changing clothing, Captain Scott Vermillon of the Pleasant Hill Police Department said earlier this morning, adding police saw video of the suspect changing clothing. Police believe, but have not proven, he escaped at the time the store was evacuated.
The suspect had been in a brief car chase. No details were provided about the suspect’s identity, but Captain Scott Vermillon of the Pleasant Hill police confirmed he is wanted for rape.
“Witnesses and information lead us to believe that he went up into the ceiling rafters of the business,” Vermillon added.
The Nordstrom Rack was fully evacuated, according to a company spokesperson. No customers or employees were injured.
The Pleasant Hill Police Department advised the public to avoid the area of Sunvalley Mall in Concord on Tuesday evening via social media, around 7:30 p.m.
The Concord Police Department received calls at 5:55 p.m. of a wanted suspect who barricaded himself at the Nordstrom Rack. Concord police said the store customers and employees were evacuated.
As of 7:45 p.m., there was no immediate threat to the public, and the mall was not on lockdown, according to a dispatcher with Sunvalley Mall.
Police vehicles could be seen outside of the Nordstrom Rack, which is located in Pleasant Hill. Nordstrom Rack is within walking distance from the Sunvalley Mall.
The Pittsburg Police Department, Walnut Creek Police Department and the Contra Costa County Sheriff were also at the scene.
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This is a developing story. Check back for updates as KRON4 learns more.