Quick work by police and help from citizens resulted in four suspects being arrested in connection with a burglary spree on Monday morning, Feb. 29 in Escalon.
Arrested on multiple charges were Andrew Rodriguez, 19, of Ceres; Enrique DeLeon, 18, of Oakdale; Adrianno Gutierrez, 18, of Atwater and Sumit Bajwa, 18, of Ceres. All were booked at San Joaquin County Jail and remained in custody at press time on Tuesday.
“We received a report of a suspicious vehicle occupied by four subjects in the 2300 block of Jessica,” Police Chief Mike Borges said of the initial call, which came in just after 9:20 a.m. “The reporting party was an off duty officer from a neighboring agency. He described the vehicle as a lowered green Dodge Durango.”
Officer K.J. Vandagriff responded to the call and while checking the area was told by another resident that the vehicle was last seen on Yosemite Avenue. About 15 minutes later, Borges said, as he continued checking the area Officer Vandagriff located a vehicle matching the description on Nathaniel Drive south of Yosemite. The vehicle was occupied by only the driver, who was using a cell phone to speak to someone when Officer Vandagriff contacted him.
“As Officer Vandagriff spoke with the driver on Nathaniel, in the 2500 block of Yosemite a resident pulled into her driveway and as she did she saw the door leading from her garage into her home standing wide open, and saw the rear sliding door leading to her back yard also open,” Borges explained. “At this point she saw three male subjects wearing loose fitting clothing, running out of the back of her house. She immediately called 911 to report the burglary in progress at her home.”
As this was taking place Officer Vandagriff was less than a half-block from her location. Detective Anthony Hardgraves and Officer Elmer Cruz responded to assist him and attempted to set up a perimeter north of the location to contain the subjects. The driver was detained as this was taking place.
“While securing the home we learned that at least two handguns were stolen from the residence,” Borges said. “Additional assistance was requested and both the Ripon Police Department and San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office responded to assist us in searching for the suspects.”
The description of the suspects was provided to city Public Works personnel, Borges noted, and Public Works Superintendent Juston Collins responded to assist. He was in the area of Miller and Stanislaus when he saw three subjects matching the description of the suspects walking in the area.
“As he drove closer to the suspects, one of the suspects pointed a handgun at him, and then the three began to run into the orchard north of this area,” said Borges.
This information was provided to the Sheriff units in the area and on Mahon east of Escalon Avenue, the deputies were able to confront the three subjects and took them into custody. A search of the suspects located stolen property taken from the victim’s residence in their possession, which was later identified by the victim.
“As the personnel began checking the area the suspects had come from, they located one of the stolen handguns in the orchard along with some of the suspects clothing,” Borges added. “The second handgun stolen was located in a trash can in an adjacent yard next to the victim’s home.”
Inside the home additional property taken from the bedrooms, along with another weapon were piled on the couch and in a backpack abandoned by the suspects. It also appeared the suspects were attempting to steal the flat screen TV, which was being disconnected.
Borges said the victim’s handguns and property located with the suspects was recovered and positively identified as their property. There is some jewelry that has yet to be located.
Inside the suspect’s vehicle a pry bar and a set of brass knuckles were located. All four subjects were booked into county jail on various charges.
Enrique DeLeon was arrested for residential burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and theft of a firearm, all felonies. Sumit Bajwa was arrested for residential burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, theft of a firearm, and assault with a deadly weapon, all felonies. Andrew Rodriguez was arrested for residential burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and theft of a firearm, all felonies. Adrianno Gutierrez was arrested for residential burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, theft of a firearm, possession of illegal weapon, all felonies, and misdemeanor possession of burglary tools.