Neighbors Band Together To Help Police
SALINAS—Patrol Officers from the Salinas Police Department arrested four burglary suspects after neighbors botched their attempt to burglarize two homes in the neighborhood. Arrested were 19-year-old Jose Melgoza, 19-year-old Erik Llamas, 19-year-old Francisco Narez and a 14-year-old juvenile, all of Salinas.
Last Friday, at 1:07 p.m., Salinas Police received a call from a concerned neighbor reporting that there was a suspicious vehicle parked in the cul-de-sac at Oyster Bay Circle. The caller mentioned that the car did not belong in the neighborhood and was occupied by four males.
While in route to the call, police received information that some of them had gone into a house and were apparently burglarizing it. When police arrived they spotted the vehicle, occupied by only one male, later identified as Melgoza. He was detained while officers looked for the others.
“Two officers positioned themselves near the house where the burglary was being committed.” Salinas Police Commander Henry Gomez said, “However, the remaining suspects saw the officers from an upstairs bedroom of a different house.”
They fled out the back door and ran toward the creek near Safeway. An alert golfer called the police a short time later and stated that three males came out of the bushes and sat down on the bench next to the fourth hole at the Twin Creeks Golf Course.
As police arrived, the suspects fled but an officer gave chase for a considerable distance, and was able to catch Llamas and take him into custody at an apartment complex on Alamo Way.
Police also arrested Narez and the 14-year-old suspect, whom they found hiding in the nearby bushes. All four were booked into the Monterey County Jail or Juvenile Hall on burglary and conspiracy charges, and resisting arrest.
Erik Llamas had been arrested in April on charges of receiving or concealing stolen property and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possibly the same one arrested in this case.