Three arrested after family fights off home invaders
Two men and a boy were arrested early Saturday morning after they allegedly committed a home invasion and attempted robbery but were fought off by the family, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.
Police received a frantic 911 call at 5:35 a.m. from a resident in the area of Western Avenue and Frank Lane stating three individuals armed with a rifle and knives had just broken into their home, said Lt. R. Mengel.
Officers immediately responded to the location and saw two individuals fleeing on foot, and after a short chase both suspects were captured, Mengel said.
While the foot pursuit was taking place, additional officers arrived at the home to find the father of the family had subdued and detained a third suspect inside the house.
Family members told investigators the parents were awakened when the suspects put a gun to the father’s head and demanded valuables.
An 11-year-old son awakened by the disturbance went to his parents’ room, saw a suspect holding a gun to his father’s head and, without hesitation, tackled the gunman, Mengel said.
The father immediately fought with the gunman as the mother and another teenage son physically fought off the other armed attackers, sustaining serious physical injuries in the process.
Suspects Alberto Pablo Montes, 18, and Manual Duran, 18, both of Santa Maria, were arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery of an inhabited dwelling, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing an imitation firearm in a threatening manner and criminal conspiracy.
A 15-year-old Santa Maria boy, whose name was not released because of his age, was also arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall on the same charges.
Investigators believe the attack was a random crime of opportunity, Mengel said.
He noted officers canvassed the neighborhood looking for witnesses and home surveillance systems not on file with the Security Camera Registry that may have captured the actions of the suspects immediately prior to the home invasion.
The Police Department is asking anyone with more information about the suspects’ criminal activity or the home invasion to contact the investigating officer, A. Harvey, at 805-928-3781, ext. 2227, or the lead detective, P. Dix, at 805-928-3781, ext. 2424.
Home owners can learn more about the Security Camera Registry and sign up at www.cityofsantamaria.org/city-government/departments/police-services/hot-topics/security-camera-registry.
Pickup rollover Friday night closes Skyway Drive lanes
A pickup rollover crash on Skyway Drive in Santa Maria closed the westbound lanes from Highway 135 to Auto Park for more than an hour Friday night as police investigated, firefighters threw absorbent material on crankcase oil and a tow truck operator cleared away the wreckage.
The driver of the late-model maroon extended-cab Chevrolet pickup apparently extricated himself or herself from the smashed cab and fled.
Santa Maria police officers on scene couldn’t provide any information about the crash, but it appeared the driver had been southbound on Skyway about 8:15 p.m. and failed to negotiate the curve just west of Highway 135.
The pickup struck the center island at Auto Park, flattening the metal caution signs and launching the vehicle into multiple rolls until it came to a stop on its roof and hood in front of the Skyway Center.
A resident of Miles Avenue, more than 1,000 feet from the site, said his wife heard the crash and thought it was a four-car pileup because there were three distinct impact sounds.
The rolling pickup lost its tonneau cover and spewed contractor’s tools across both westbound lanes, littering the asphalt with tool boxes, open-end and allen wrenches, pneumatic hand tools, a compressor, a hard hat, drywall tape, orange buckets, a floor jack and hundreds of screws and nails, among other items.