Crime

Suspects did home invasion before carjack attempt, Modesto police say

Raw video: Carjacking suspect arrested in North Modesto

A carjacking was reported at 3:20 p.m. in the 400 block of Dorado Lane on Aug. 9, 2016. While escorting a resident to his home on Dorado Lane, officers spotted the third suspect’s feet through bushes and found him hiding outside the home.
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A carjacking was reported at 3:20 p.m. in the 400 block of Dorado Lane on Aug. 9, 2016. While escorting a resident to his home on Dorado Lane, officers spotted the third suspect’s feet through bushes and found him hiding outside the home.

Update: second gun recovered

Wednesday evening, a resident of Dorado Court saw a handgun lying on the ground on the interior side of his front courtyard wall. He called police, who came out and identified it as a .380, believed to have been used in a home-invasion robbery and an attempted carjacking in the neighborhood.

The resident said he didn’t spot the gun Tuesday because he came out his door looking toward the police activity on Dorado Lane. But he saw it Wednesday late afternoon when he went out to get his mail.

“During interviews with the three in custody, we were able to discern there was another gun outstanding,” Sgt. David Mullins said when recovering the gun Wednesday. A team of officers went out with the suspect Tuesday night to recover the gun, Mullins said, but in the dark, the suspect did not recognize the spot he left the weapon.

Based on how the gun was lying, Mullins said the suspect must have been hiding in the small courtyard rather than having tossed the .380 over the wall.

Original story follows:

Trying to carjack a driver in north Modesto was just part two of three suspects’ crime Tuesday afternoon, police said Wednesday.

Shortly after 3 p.m., and about 10 minutes before trying to steal a woman’s car at gunpoint on Dorado Lane just west of Northampton Lane, the three broke into a home on Swain Drive, just two neighborhood blocks west, said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves.

A 14-year-old boy was home alone at the time, and one of the suspects brandished a handgun at him, Graves said. “They went through the home, but all they took was the boy’s cell phone,” she said.

A fourth person was outside in a getaway car. “As they were inside, dad shows up and sees the car in the driveway,” Graves said. “The driver gets scared and flees the area. Then the three inside come out and actually point the gun at dad before fleeing on foot. That’s when they approached the woman on Dorado.”

Christopher Garcia, 19, Leo Gallego, 18, and a 17-year-old boy, all of Modesto, were arrested on suspicion of attempted carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon, home invasion robbery, use of a firearm during the commission of a crime and conspiracy. The driver of the getaway car remained at large, and no information on his identity, or a description of him or the car, was immediately available Wednesday afternoon.

The attempted-carjacking victim sped away when one of the suspects pointed a gun at her. Officers coming into the area immediately detained two fleeing suspects – Gallego and the minor – and recovered a handgun and extended ammunition magazines.

During a search for Garcia, officers were escorting an older resident to his home when they found the suspect hiding in bushes at a Dorado Lane home.

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters may also text information to Crime Stoppers at 274637. Type “TIP704” along with your message.

Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327

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