The suspects were noticed after taking a watch from one store. The store manager followed the three suspects to their car and tried to stop them from leaving the parking lot. As the suspects drove off, the manager was struck by a side mirror on the vehicle.
Responding deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office were able to prevent the car from leaving the mall area. According to reports, a search of the car turned up several items of stolen clothing, tennis shoes and a key ring belonging to a retail store in San Bernardino.
That key ring included a key that the suspects, according to police reports, used to open a locked watch case at the Victoria Gardens Mall. Police said that one suspect distracted a sales clerk while the others used the stolen keys to unlock a display case.
The suspects, who hail from the Bay Area community of Union City, were staying at an Ontario hotel room. Police served a search warrant there, turning up numerous sporting goods items including hats, bats and shoes, plus high-priced stolen watches and other stolen clothing items.
According to Sgt. John Nuss, the stolen goods were valued at $12,000. He said all of the recovered items still had price tags attached.
Julian Hertier, 21, Gabriela Ruiz, 18, and Dominic Gonzales, 18, each residents of Union City, were charged with assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. All three were booked into West Valley Detention Center.