Police search for two armed robbers
visalia – Visalia Police are searching for two men they believe robbed five elderly people at gunpoint in downtown. The robberies happened at two different locations within 15 minutes of each other on July 2.
At 1:03 p.m., two unknown Hispanic males armed with handguns walked up to three elderly people getting out of their vehicle in the 500 block of North Floral. The suspects demanded money from the victims who turned over their cash. The suspects then fled on foot with an unknown amount of money.
The second occurred at 1:18 p.m. in the 4600 block of West Cypress. Two elderly victims were in separate cars and were about to get out of their vehicles when a Hispanic male adult armed with a handgun approached them on foot. The suspect contacted the first victim and demanded money from her. After she told him she didn’t have any, the suspect walked to the second victim who was parked in the adjacent parking stall and demanded money from her. The suspect forcefully pulled on the strap from the victim’s purse which was around her arm and ran off with it in an unknown direction. The woman sustained a bruise to her left arm.
Sgt. Damon Maurice, spokesperson for the Visalia Police Department, said officers believe both cases are related and warned residents, especially those that are elderly, “to always be vigilant of their surroundings at all times.” No arrests have been made in this case. Anyone with information regarding these incidents are asked to contact the Visalia Police Department at 559-734-8116.
Visalia Police Log
Wednesday, July 5
At 2 p.m. at the intersection of Dinuba Boulevard and Riggin Avenue, officers responded to a report of brandishing a firearm. A male passenger in a vehicle was targeted by two men, an adult and a juvenile, who pointed a gun at him but did not fire shots. While en route to the scene, officers were notified of the suspect’s description and direction of travel. The juvenile suspect, only identified as being 15 years old, was contacted in the area of Conyer and Lark and found to have a loaded 9mm handgun on him. The teen was arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall for assault with a firearm, weapons charges, and gang enhancements. During the investigation officers learned the juvenile had been driven to the intersection in a white Chevy Malibu by Anthony Alvarez, 21, of Visalia. At 1 p.m. on July 7, Alvarez was arrested during a traffic stop. He was booked into the Main Jail for assault with a firearm, conspiracy, and gang enhancements. This case is being investigated as a gang crime.
Friday, July 7
At 9:30 a.m. in the 300 block of N. Crenshaw, members of the Special Enforcement Unit arrested two men on drug charges. During a search warrant, officers located methamphetamine, heroin, Xanax, drug paraphernalia and scales. Arrested were Enrique Ruiz, 28, on charges of possession of Xanax without a prescription, possession of heroin, possession of heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Javier Guerrero, 19, on charges of possession of heroin. Both suspects were booked into the Tulare County Pretrial Facility.
Thursday, July 6
At 11 a.m. in the 1800 block of S. Peppertree, members of the Special Enforcement unit served a search warrant. During the search, officers located an assault rifle, several other assault rifles in various stages of completion, two silencers, three extended magazines and ammunition. Arrested was Jason King, 40, a convicted felon, on charges of being felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a silencer, possession of extended magazines. King was booked into the Tulare County Pretrial Facility.