More arrests made in Wednesday burglary
Dec 21, 2012 (The Porterville Recorder - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The number of arrests stemming from Wednesday's home burglary and crash has risen to five, as the same teens and more are suspects in recent burglaries in Visalia and Tulare.
Four teens, who were involved in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday after they allegedly burglarized a Porterville home and fled from the area, were arrested following the crash south of Porterville. One of those teens was pinned in the vehicle for nearly an hour. All four have been released from the hospital.
The suspects, 18-year-old Diego Ortiz from Teviston, and three teen juveniles, ages 14, 15 and 16, all from Delano, were booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.
On Thursday, the Visalia Police Department reported that two more teens were arrested Wednesday night, one in Delano and one in Richgrove, in connection with two burglaries in that city and another in Tulare.
VPD Sgt. Amy Watkins said that Ortiz, two 16-year-olds, a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old were identified as suspects in their cases.
Watkins said the burglars entered by kicking in the front doors of the residences. During the burglaries the suspects and their vehicle were captured on surveillance video.
Three of those arrested in Porterville are suspects in the Visalia cases, as well as to a residential door-kick burglary that occurred in Tulare on the same day as the Visalia burglaries, Dec. 13.
Some of the stolen property was recovered during a search of a residence in Delano, said Watkins. All suspects were found to be northern gang members; therefore, in addition to the residential burglary charges, they were booked and charged for commission of the burglaries in order to benefit a street gang.
The Porterville Police Department got a call about 9:40 a.m. Wednesday from witness who reported that several persons were seen breaking into a home in the 2300 block of West Orange Avenue. The witness said the suspects loaded stolen items into their car before leaving the area.
The witness also provided police with a description of the car, which was seen fleeing from the victim's home by officers responding to the scene.
Before officers could pull the car over, it crashed into an orange grove in the area of Avenue 128 and Road 216. The vehicle sheered off a utility pole before ripping into several orange trees.
All four were detained and taken to Sierra View District Hospital for minor to moderate injuries.
Porterville police said they found numerous items inside the car belonging to the victims from the Orange Avenue burglary.
Ortiz was booked into the Tulare County Sheriff's Department and all the teens were booked into the Juvenile Detention Facility.
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