TPhoto: Three arrested suspects in this case, (PPD, names not affixed)
PORTERVILLE – A total of five robberies committed by a group of young suspects resulted in four arrests. Just after 9 p.m. on October 30th, Porterville Police Department officers responded to a business on West Olive Avenue. Two masked, armed robbers had just made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
A similar call came in two days later on November 1st when at about 1:20 AM, two masked suspects robbed a business on West Poplar Ave. The armed robbers again took an undisclosed amount of money and store merchandise. They hopped in their vehicle and headed west on Poplar Ave.
That same night, Porterville Police officers located a vehicle believed to be involved in the robbery. When they signaled the car to pull over, the suspects took off, initiating a chase. They led officers from Porterville Police, Lindsay Police, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol on a chase through the city of Lindsay until losing them by going into an incorporated part of North Lindsay.
Later that evening, officers spotted a second vehicle involved in the robberies. The driver of this second vehicle also did not stop at first and a chase ensued. However, this suspect was unable to lose police and he lost control of his vehicle. Officers arrested the driver, 18 year- old Ernest Herrera of Lindsay.
Hours later, investigation led detectives to the residence of a second suspect, 18-year old Nicholas Oviedo. Oviedo had tried to report his car stolen. Ironically, it was the very vehicle involved in the first chase and robbery just hours before. His car was located near where police lost him. Inside they found weapons, masks, and stolen goods.
Detectives arrested a third suspect on November 2nd when they discovered evidence linking 18-year old Angel Navarro of Exeter to the robbery. They also determined he was the driver in the first car chase. Officers arrested him at 4:30 PM in Fresno without incident.
A fourth arrest was that of a 16-year old juvenile in his Lindsay home. He is now in the Tulare County Juvenile Hall. Oviedo is in custody at the Adult Pre-Trail Facility. Herrera and Navarro are in custody at the Bob Wiley Detention Facility. In all, investigators linked the four suspects to five robberies: two in Porterville, two in Lindsay, and one in Farmersville.