Victim and Witness Assist Barstow PD To Nab Three Serial Auto-Break-In Burglars
BARSTOW – When someone smashes out the window of your car and takes your valuables, what would you do first, besides not touch the broken glass? Call the police – a report is absolutely necessary for insurance purposes (for auto comprehensive policy’s window repair after paying the deductible, and your coverage of the personal items covered by homeowners’ insurance) – and, to provide surveillance footage of the crime scene.
A very savvy victim went one step further, and helped Barstow PD track the location of the suspects via one of her stolen devices. Officer Juan Zepeda responded to a vehicle burglary call on 10/18/19 at approximately 1:24 PM, to Carl’s Jr. in the 2800 block of Lenwood Rd.
Investigation revealed a useful surveillance video, just as a second caller reported another smashed auto window and burglary of several items at a nearby IHOP.
“Officer Zepeda obtained footage of the burglaries from surveillance cameras located at the IHOP Restaurant,” said BPD. “The surveillance footage showed that three Black male adults broke into both vehicles and fled the area in a white KIA SUV.”
Less than a half-hour later, BPD Dispatch called for response to the 1600 block of East Main Street for two more incidents of the same smash-and-burglarize nature.
As the first victim tracked her stolen property, the suspects were shown traveling north on the I-15 towards Baker. BPD enlisted assistance of CHP Baker Officers, who intercepted the white KIA and made contact with three men.
Next, “the trio matched the description of the suspects provided by the witness and captured on the surveillance video,” said BPD. “Corporal Barrientos responded to the location with the witness to conduct an in-field show-up. The witness positively identified all three as the suspects who broke into the vehicles at Barstow Station. Officers searched the suspect’s KIA SUV and located several items of stolen property from all four of the reported vehicle burglaries.”
Corporal Barrientos arrested Taylor, Espinoza, and McGee, transported them to Barstow PD, and inventoried the recovered stolen property. He returned the goods to the victims.
The three arrested suspects were booked into San Bernardino County Jail for Penal Code 487(a)- Grand Theft, Penal Code 459- Burglary, and Penal Code 182(a)(1)-Conspiracy.
Authorities stress employing a future habit when entering your car: always hide everything out of sight before you leave on your journey. Someone may be watching you intently once you arrive.
Anyone with additional information regarding this ongoing investigation is urged to contact Corporal Jose Barrientos or Officer Juan Zepeda at Barstow PD (760) 256-2211. To remain anonymous, call WE-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or report via the We-Tip website www.wetip.com.