Morgan Hill Police followed two burglaries – one at Walmart and another at Safeway within 30 minutes of each other – until they caught up with three suspects, including a female juvenile Friday afternoon.
Officers first responded to a report of suspicious people in the parking lot of Walmart, 170 Cochrane Plaza, about 4:13 p.m. Friday, according to Sgt. Troy Hoefling.
The subjects were reportedly seen looking into parked vehicles in the store’s parking lot. When officers arrived, they did not find the suspicious people but while they were there more witnesses reported that three suspects had just run out of the store and exited with the alarm sounding.
Those suspects ran from the store into a white Ford Ranger pickup and fled the area, Hoefling said. A partial license plate number was obtained, and a shopping cart containing about $850 worth of merchandise was left outside the store while the alarm was sounding.
Officers broadcast the vehicle’s description to surrounding officers and agencies, Hoefling said.
Then at about 4:30 p.m., officers were called to another theft incident, at Safeway, 235 Tennant Station, Hoefling said.
The suspects and their associated vehicle in that incident “closely matched” that of the Walmart attempted burglary minutes earlier, police said.
Officers arrived at Safeway and contacted witnesses who pointed out the location of the suspects.
Police located three individuals, two of whom were immediately identified as tied to the Safeway theft, in which two adults were observed pushing a cart containing about $230 worth of stolen merchandise out of the store, Hoefling said.
The investigation determined that all three suspects contacted at Safeway were involved in the theft, police said.
When officers contacted the suspects, Hoefling added that one threw a knife on the ground, and another had an open knife concealed in his waist band.
Arrested on suspicion of burglary and contributing to the delinquency of a minor were Emerson Rodriguez, 19 of Gilroy, and Juan Mendoza, 20 of Gilroy.
Ruiz was further booked on suspicion of possession of a concealed weapon.
The third suspect, a female juvenile, was cited on suspicion of burglary and later released to family members, Hoefling said.
“The Morgan Hill Police Department would like to thank the citizens who took the time to get involved and assist the police when they arrived,” Hoefling added. “By working together, we were able to apprehend the suspects in this case.”
Anyone with more information on this case can call the Morgan Hill police department at (408) 779-2101, or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867.