Local

Five suspects from San Jose arrested in Visalia on burglary charges

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Police in the south valley say they've busted a group of San Jose criminals trying to burglarize large chain businesses in Visalia.

The five suspects hit CVS Pharmacy and the ROSS Dress for Less store before they were caught.

These Visalia Police photos show two shopping carts full of merchandise stolen from ROSS clothing store in north Visalia.

Sgt. Steve Phillips said, "They put them in suitcases that they'd stolen and had just walked out of the store and apparently nobody noticed."

Sgt Phillips says Zoila Martinez, Jesus Esquivel, Camareno Santoyo and two other women ... were caught Tuesday night after a CVS employee saw one of the suspects trying to remove a security label from a product in the store. When they left, CVS called police with a description of the vehicle and within 30 minutes, they had tracked down the suspects, finding $21-hundred dollars worth of merchandise inside the car. Authorities say the suspects are from San Jose.

"They come into Visalia for a day and go somewhere else it's allot more difficult to catch and prosecute them," said Sgt. Steve Phillips.

Visalia Police say they often encounter out-of-town criminals who come into Visalia specifically to steal large quantities of items. This makes customers here angry.

Visalia resident, Manuel Rojas said, "Not right, they need to be caught and put away."

Visalia resident, Angelina Gaspar adds, "I think it's really sad as a shopper you feel unsafe and employees I bet they feel unsafe as well and it just it's really sad they come in out of town and hurt a small town like this."

Angelina Gaspar works in retail and says they, too, have to watch out for criminals who aren't from the area. "It's definitely something we have to look out for, that's their job -- organized shoplifting."

Police are charging the suspects with commercial burglary. And Action News has learned four of the suspects are now on an immigration hold-meaning they could end up being deported.

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Tags:
crimetracker, burglary, visalia, tulare county, local, jessica peres
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