Photo: Avalos, Cisneros and Licon
At approximately 4 PM on November 21st employees at the Bandar Smoke Shop on East Sutter Avenue in Earlimart phoned the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office to report they had been robbed.
They recalled to deputies how one suspect came into the store and asked for money while pointing a handgun at them. Another suspect was standing outside the store. The suspects made away with $170 and left in a car parked close by.
Seven hours later, La Estrellita Market on Avenue 328 in Ivanhoe was hit. Deputies of the Visalia Sheriff’s Substation responded to that call.
The clerks reported similarities to the Earlimart robbery: One suspect came in, armed, while a second suspect waited by the door. They took about $300 worth of goods.
The third store robbed was the Dollar General on Robinson Road in Goshen around 6:45 PM on November 22. Staff reported to Tulare County Deputies how a suspect, armed with a revolver, demanded cash and made off with $300 to $350.
Detectives theorized the robberies were connected after reviewing surveillance videos from the stores. A tip led them to their first suspect, 19-year old Marquel Licon, who was recognized from the Dollar General Store surveillance footage.
Detectives paid Licon a visit at his Tulare home where he was brought in for questioning. Licon owned up to participating in all three robberies. He was arrested and booked into the Visalia Adult Pre-Trial Facility.
At 9 AM on November 27th, Cisneros was detained outside his Houston Avenue home in Visalia. Detectives, permitted by an issued warrant, searched his home and found a gun, shell casings, and the car used in the robberies. Avalos was also arrested on November 27 at his Mooney Boulevard home in Visalia.
A search warrant allowed detectives to look for and discover evidence in his home linking him to the robberies.
Besides being wanted for their connection with these robberies, Cisneros and Avalos had active warrants for other robberies. They joined Licon at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility. Cisneros and Avalos have bail set at $500.000 each.
Detectives believe two more suspects may have been involved in these robberies but have yet to release the reason. Anyone with information about this case can call 559-725-4194 to leave an anonymous tip