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    Man who led SLO County police on chase during 2023 crime spree sentenced

    By Ashton McIntyre,


    San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced Tuesday the sentencing of a Visalia man who led county law enforcement on a chase during a 2023 crime spree.

    Joshua Lee Arnold was sentenced to serve 26 years plus 28 years to life in prison for attempted murder and assault with a handgun during a crime spree.

    It happened on August 17, 2023, when at approximately 1:00 pm, Arnold attempted to rob a clerk at a 7-Eleven in Grover Beach.

    The DA's office said Arnold was armed with a handgun. The clerk refused to give Arnold money and attempted to call 9-1-1. That's when Arnold walked around the store counter and fired at close range toward the clerk. The bullet exited the window, narrowly missing two people outside.

    Arnold fired a second shot at the clerk as he left the store, hitting him in the neck. Despite the victim’s wound, he was able to provide surveillance footage of the shooting to responding officers before he was transported to the hospital.

    Less than one hour later, the DA's office said Arnold stole cigarettes from Kachi Smoke Shop in Nipomo, then at approximately 3:30 pm, Arnold attempted to carjack a driver near the Panda Express in the Froom Ranch parking lot in San Luis Obispo. The driver attempted to leave when Arnold shot multiple rounds toward the vehicle as they drove away. One bullet struck the 19-year-old passenger in the back and the driver transported them to the hospital.

    The DA's office says that Arnold then left the area in his vehicle and law enforcement found him about half an hour later in the nearby San Luis Ranch neighborhood, where he was taken into custody.

    Both shooting victims were treated for their injuries and released from local hospitals.

    Multiple agencies assisted in the investigation, including the Grover Beach Police Department , the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office , the San Luis Obispo Police Department , and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation .

    On April 9, 2024, Arnold pleaded no contest to three counts of attempted murder with deliberation and premeditation, and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

    Arnold also admitted he used a firearm in the commission of all three attempted murders, and personally inflicted great bodily injury on two of the three attempted murder victims.

    Finally, Arnold admitted he had a 2016 conviction for domestic violence resulting in great bodily injury, a “strike” under California’s three-strike law.

    Arnold will be transported to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to begin serving his sentence.

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