PALMDALE – A .357 magnum revolver, rare coins, and several other stolen items were recovered Friday morning when teams of deputies simultaneously raided two Palmdale homes.
Four suspects were arrested during the operation, including 24-year-old Marlon Lizama, 21-year-old Michael Gallego, 21-year-old Gabriela Carrillo and 21-year-old Randy Ontiveros, according to Lt. Cory Kennedy of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
All four suspects are believed to be connected to a burglary that occurred last month at a home in the 5000 Block of Claro Way in Palmdale, Kennedy said.
Detectives believe burglars gained entry through an unlocked door or window, and then stole three handguns, rare coins, jewelry and several books of checks from the home.
“[The victims] were on vacation back and forth and they really didn’t notice anything because of where the stuff was taken from,” Kennedy said.
The burglary went unnoticed until about a week ago, when someone tried to pass off one of the stolen checks at a local bank, Kennedy said.
A subsequent investigation led detectives to Lizama and Gallego, and then officials obtained warrants for the pair’s arrest, Kennedy said. Early Friday morning, detectives from the Palmdale Detective Bureau, deputies from the Partners Against Crime (PAC) Team, and gang detectives from Operation Safe Streets simultaneously executed search warrants at homes in the 38000 Block of 37th Street East and the 37000 Block of Newbury Place, Kennedy said.
Lizama was arrested at the home on Newbury Street, where detectives also recovered one of the stolen guns and many other items connected to the burglary, Kennedy said.
Gallego was not at the home on 37th Street East, but detectives caught up to him at a nearby home on 33rd Street, Kennedy said.
Lizama and Gallego led detectives to two other alleged accomplices, Carrillo and Ontiveros, who were also arrested Friday morning.
Kennedy said there may be even more arrests connected to the case, because the burglars may have been selling the stolen checks to fellow crooks for cash.
“These checks have been in circulation, and there have been numerous attempts by numerous people to pass these checks…” Kennedy said. “We’re tracking them down, and they’ll be arrested too.”
Detectives are also searching for the two other guns stolen during the May burglary – a 9 mm handgun and a .38 revolver.
“The most important thing for us is to get the guns off the street,” Kennedy said. “They’re obviously in the hands of people that shouldn’t have them.”
Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact Lt. Cory Kennedy at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 661-272-2506.