Crime - Sacto 911

Couple assaulted after responding to online ad for vehicle

Two people were arrested in the Oroville area Tuesday after they allegedly assaulted and attempted to rob a couple who were looking to buy a vehicle advertised on social media.

Butte County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched about 4:50 p.m. to Helen Wilcox School at 5737 Autrey Lane in the Oroville area regarding a report that someone possibly had been struck by a vehicle. They arrived and located the victims, a man and a woman, who had suffered minor to moderate injuries, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

The couple had located a vehicle for sale on a social media website and had arranged to meet the sellers at the school.

The victims told deputies that they met the sellers of the vehicle, later identified as Paul Chirita and Adriana Pavich, both 19 and residents of Oroville. During the meeting, Chirita allegedly physically assaulted the woman and began searching her pockets, possibly for the money to be used to purchase the vehicle, sheriff’s officials said.

The woman’s husband confronted Chirita and Pavich, who reportedly started to leave in the vehicle. In an attempt to stop the vehicle, the husband jumped on the hood and was thrown off when the vehicle made a quick swerve.

Chirita and Pavich left the area, but they were located and stopped by Oroville police after the Sheriff’s Office broadcast an alert to other law enforcement agencies. The two were taken into custody and booked into Butte County Jail.

Pavich was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery, with bail set at $60,000. Chirita also was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery, as well as outstanding arrest warrants. His bail was set at $70,000.

Sheriff’s officials remind people to use caution when purchasing items via the internet. When making purchases, they advise meeting in a public place where a lot of people will be present to minimize the risk of thefts and assaults.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy