Home Invasion Arrests
Posted in the Orange Cove Forum
#1 May 21, 2010
Multiple people are behind bars; accused of being involved in several home invasion robberies throughout the Central Valley.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced the arrests during a news conference Friday afternoon.
The arrests were part of a joint operation called "Operation Firebird" which involved the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, Merced County Sheriff's Department, Fresno DA's Office and Arizona authorities.
The operation investigated five home invasions, which occurred back in February and March in Clovis, Selma, Atwater, and Kerman.
Mims says Fresno resident 28 year-old Daniel Mendoza Rivas was the ring leader of the home invasions, scoping out affluent looking homes to hit. He would then have family members from Arizona come down and help him pull off the robbery.
"These home invasion robberies were blitz-type attacks," Mims said. The robbers are said to have targeted homes with lots of jewelry and gold.
It was a tip to the Crime Stoppers hotline which helped authorities move quickly in their investigation. "A viewer recognized the car from when she was filling up with fuel at a local gas station and called Crime Stoppers with information that was pertinent in the investigation," Mims said.
The vehicle's Arizona license plates caused valley officers to contact Arizona law enforcement, who recognized the photos of those involved. Deputies served search warrants at several Arizona homes where eight arrests were made. Officer say that the eight arrested were all gang members; they are now facing extradition.
Deputies, with the help of the Marshall's office, found and arrested Rivas in Sacramento. He has since been booked into the Fresno County Jail.
The 10th suspect, 18 year-old Eden Zazueta, remains outstanding. Zazueta last resided in Phoenix.
Mims says this investigation just goes to show how important a tip from the public can be. "Without that call, this investigation would have taken much much longer."
Stay with KMPH and KMPH.com as we continue to follow this story.
Since: Oct 07
#2 May 21, 2010
Good post “Just..”... thank goodness that SHERIFF MIMS was on the Task Force that put these TERRORISTS behind bars where they belong.
It must have profitable to have relatives from AZ travel to Central Valley to commit these horrific acts on hard working people. One lesson for the public may be ... you may not like banks and other financial institutions, but keeping your cash stash and other valuables at home ain't such a good idea.
There will probably be copycat gangs pick up on the relative short term success of the TERRORISTS that are now in JAIL.
Good Job Sheriff Mims!! Kudos to all in all the departments that participated!
#3 May 25, 2010
On a side note:
In April through June, 2009, there were a string of home invasions around the Mesa, Ariz. area. In one instance, two armed individuals burst into a home, rounded up its occupants, and forced them into a bedroom. Unfortunately the suspects had no way of knowing that the room they had sequestered the occupants in just happened to be the one that the owner kept his loaded 20 gauge shotgun, WHICH, he fired from inside the room, striking both suspects..killing one and seriously wounding the other! Arizona law (one I actually agree with) protects homeowners from prosecution for using justifiable force against intruders, meaning the shooter was not charged but the surviving suspect was recently sentenced to LWOP. Now, the interesting part is that those two suspects had close ties to the individuals from Arizona that are now being housed in our Fresno County facility! So, this is far from over...more heads will be placed on the proverbial chopping block..here and in Arizona ;)
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