It is believed that on January 31, 2014, three suspects tried to flag down a resident near his home in order to hijack the vehicle and rob him. Witnesses say they saw several cars out in the street that were screeching, as if someone had had a car wreck out in the street. There were two vehicles abandoned out in the street — a large black SUV and a silver Honda Civic Coup. A third car — a gold Cadillac — had been at the scene and had front end damage, and had lost an emblem piece and several car parts near the scene of the accident. Police were able to identify the car and discovered the owner of the vehicle was Orlando Heredia.
One witness who lived near the scene said it was dark, but he was able to see several young men exiting several cars and abandoning them in the street. This happened when his neighbor was arriving home. The victim in his car saw two males standing out in the roadway, and he became increasingly nervous as one of the suspects approached the driver side of his vehicle. Not knowing the approaching man, and seeing two vehicles abandoned in the roadway near his home, he increased his speed and exiting the area quickly. He reached a friend’s home safely and called police.
In February of this year, a photo lineup of the suspects was shown to the victim, allowing him to positively identify the suspect Joel Sanchez as being the one of the men he had seen out in the street. The victim was also able to identify Gabriel Flores as the person who had approached him.
All three suspects were taken into custody and booked into Santa Clara Main Jail. They are expected to appear on April 17 at 9:00 AM in Dept. 34. According to the DA’s Office, the trio now faces gang enhancement charges under PC 186.22, – “Any person who actively participates in any criminal street gang with knowledge that its members engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity”. Additional charges have been filed under PC 667(b)-1/117012, and PC 667 (a), which imposes an additional five-year enhancement for each such prior conviction.