FRESNO – Three juveniles were arrested in connection to October’s home invasion robbery of a Fresno World War II veteran.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said that the last suspect, only 12 years old, was arrested on Nov. 13. The other two suspects, both ages 15, were arrested on Nov. 1 and Nov. 12.
The home invasion of 92-year-old Josef Martin happened the night of Oct. 23. One of the suspects was able to get into the house, possibly through a window in Martin’s garage, and let the other two suspects in. When Martin confronted the three juveniles, things got ugly.
“Mr. Martin was pistol whipped, he was knocked down, his hip was slammed against the wall so hard that it left a hole in the wall. He was placed in a closet while the suspects ransacked his home,” Mims said.
The suspects stole $200 from under a rug, as well as jewelry found in the home.
Mims said that the same night the juveniles broke into Martin’s home, they had also attempted to break into two other homes, one of which was the home of a 73-year-old woman. She told authorities that the suspects ran away after she yelled at them.
The juveniles are suspected of robbing other houses, as well. Mims said that the juveniles would “go up to a house in the middle of the night and knock. If somebody answered, they would ask for someone that didn’t live there, make up a name; if they didn’t get an answer, they would make entry to the home.”
Mims called the boys “cowards,” saying they target the weak and vulnerable.
Search warrants served in connection to the three arrests resulted in some of the stolen items. Mims is certain that there are more victims of the juveniles’ crime spree.
“We cannot release the names or photographs of the suspects at this point because they are juveniles,” Mims said.
The juveniles are being held in juvenile hall on charges of home invasion and elder abuse.
The Fresno Bee: 3 juveniles arrested in Fresno home invasion of World War II vet
San Jose Mercury News: WWII vet, 92, pistol-whipped, robbed in Fresno