East Bay News
Garrido associate's properties searched
PITTSBURG, CA (KGO) -- The investigation into the 1991 Jaycee Dugard kidnapping and sexual assault case expands as authorities comb three Contra Costa County properties in search for new evidence. Among the things police confiscated were DVDs and a computer. Whether they are connected to child pornography, police will not say.
Jim and Cheyvonne Molino have not been shy about their association with Phillip Garrido over the past several years, but they insist it was strictly business. On Wednesday, police conducted three aggressive searches of properties owned by the Molinos, who said they were shocked by the focus of those searches.
"They completely took my bedroom apart," said Cheyvonne Molino.
Cheyvonne said the Contra Costa sheriffs arrived at their Pleasant Hill home with no warning and searched room to room, looking for videos, photos, cameras. A tenant at the Bay Point location said the sheriffs were searching for anything that could be related to child pornography.
"They went through everything. They went through my drawers, they went through my garbage, everything personal. They just came out and violated my privacy, 15 police officers," she said.
She showed ABC7 the receipt for the property seized by sheriffs, which included her Apple computer, and about 20 VHS tapes and DVDs.
"Anything that looked like it was homemade, they took with them," she said.
Two other properties owned by the Molinos were also searched by sheriff's deputies. Besides the Pleasant Hill home, they searched the couple's business -- J.M. Auto Wreckers in Pittsburg. The third location police searched was the couple's rental home just outside of Pittsburg in Bay Point. The tenants say they took a video camera, DVDs and VHS tapes.
"I don't understand why they came here like that because there is no link between us and them, other than business and buying his printing products," said Jim Molino. "They took nothing from here. They looked around. It's absolutely ridiculous. We're a wrecking yard. We do cars. Why associate me with somebody who I just did business with on cards and printing? It's ridiculous."
"When you walk in, in full tactical gear and you draw guns on adults that have children, there was no need for that," said Cheyvonne.
Contra Costa County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee told ABC7, the visits to the Molino properties were probation searches. He said "It was all part of the larger Garrido investigation. If they felt it was heavy-handed, I'm sorry for that."
Lee would not confirm that investigators were looking specifically for anything related to child pornography.
The Molinos have done numerous media interviews since Phillip Garrido's arrest about their association with the accused rapist and kidnapper. Cheyvonne told ABC7 she saw Garrido, Jaycee Dugard, and her two daughters dozens of times over a 10 year period, including most recently at a birthday party the Molinos had for their teenage daughter. She also gave ABC7 the photos of two girls who are believed to be the daughters Garrido fathered with his kidnap victim Jaycee.
The couple believes Jaycee could clear their names.
"I'm pleading to Jaycee Dugard. Please step forward and tell the media, tell the government exactly what happened to you," said Cheyvonne.
Molino says she tried to contact investigators numerous times since Garrido's arrest, but never heard from them until Wednesday.
"So now I'm the bad person? I had four police officers today tell me why didn't I say something sooner. And I said, 'Well why didn't the parole officer do his job?'" she said.
Cheyvonne was referring to the numerous visits by the parole officer to the Garrido home without detecting the presence of Jaycee.
As for Wednesday's searches, there was one arrest at the location in Bay Point, but it was unrelated to the Garrido investigation. A man was arrested at one of the homes on an unrelated matter for failure to appear in court. Two young children at that location were also taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services because deputies thought that home was too squalid for the kids to remain there.
The Contra Costa Sheriff's Department would not say if they found any incriminating evidence from the day's searches.
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