Gun malfunctions during Milpitas Kohl’s armed robbery, 2 arrested


In Milpitas, two suspects accused of robbing Kohl’s have been arrested.

It happened on Great Mall Drive, and police say they were on the run for nearly a week.

Police say Miguel Tovanche and Carmen Vargas were stopped after trying to take a cart full of merchandise out through an emergency exit in Kohl’s.

That’s when Tovanche pulled out a gun and fired at loss prevention officers.

The two ran from the officers and could not be found for nearly a week.

Milpitas police detectives caught up with the two in Alameda.

Both suspects were brought back to Santa Clara County and booked at the Santa Clara County Jail for their outstanding warrants.

Here is the full statement from police:

On Thursday, July 19, 2018, at approximately 1:48 PM, Milpitas Police officers responded to a theft at the Kohl’s, located at 1150 Great Mall Drive. Kohl’s loss prevention officers observed a woman pushing a shopping cart filled with merchandise out the emergency exit to an awaiting silver Mercedes-Benz driven by an unknown male. The two loss prevention officers were able to retrieve their property before the female suspect could load it into the vehicle; however, the male suspect retrieved a firearm and c onfronted both loss prevention officers. The male suspect pointed the firearm at the loss prevention officers and pulled the trigger; but the firearm malfunctioned. Both suspects fled the scene in the Mercedes-Benz and their images were captured on surveillance video.

Milpitas detectives sent flyers to other law enforcement agencies requesting assistance identifying the suspects’ pictures, which were captured on Kohl’s surveillance cameras. Alameda Police Department detectives identified the suspects as Miguel Tovanche and Carmen Vargas. Both suspects were wanted for a robbery in the City of Alameda. Milpitas Police detectives obtained a $60,000 Ramey arrest warrant for Miguel Tovanche for assault with deadly weapon, burglary, and conspiracy; plus a $10,000 Ramey arrest warrant for Carmen Vargas for burglary and conspiracy. Detectives worked tirelessly throughout the night and obtained a search warrant for a residence, related to Tovanche, in Castro Valley. On July 20, 2018, at approximately 2:00 a.m., the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team served the search warrant and rendered the home safe to enter. Milpitas Police detectives took over scene management and located evidence in the residence. Tovanche and Vargas were not at the residence and remained at-large.

On Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at approximately 6:09 AM, the Alameda Police Department located and arrested Miguel Tovanche and Carmen Vargas for their warrants in the City of Alameda. Milpitas Police detectives travelled to Alameda and took custody of Tovanche and Vargas. Both suspects were brought back to Santa Clara County and booked at the Santa Clara County jail for their outstanding warrants.

The Milpitas Police Department would like to give a special thanks to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in safely executing the search warrant at the Castro Valley residence and the cooperation of the Alameda Police Department in thei r efforts to capture Tovanche and Vargas 

If you have any information regarding this investigation; then you are encouraged to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Additionally, the information can be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department website at:



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