Three people, including two minors, were arrested Wednesday in Mountain View after undercover police officers allegedly found them to be in possession of a bag full of stolen electronics, jewelry and drug paraphernalia. Police said they believe that all three suspects are Sureno gang members.
The three suspects include 22-year-old Rigoberto Lopez, a Sunnyvale man, and two juveniles: a 16-year-old male from Sunnyvale and a 13-year-old female from Redwood City. The three allegedly entered a jewelry store at the 600 block of Escuela Avenue in the afternoon and tried to sell gold jewelry, according to the Mountain View police website.
They were later contacted outside the store by two undercover Mountain View police officers as well as code enforcement officers, who found them to be in possession of stolen property. Items included a meth pipe, various electronics and gold jewelry, according to Sgt. Saul Jaeger of the Mountain View Police Department.
Police arrested the three suspects, and Lopez was charged with possession of stolen property and booked into San Jose Main Jail without bail. Jaeger said police had a warrant for the arrest of Lopez.
Jaeger said there's a growing number of burglaries and thefts where criminals are selling off what they steal to second-hand jewelry stores without any record of the transaction, making it harder to track down stolen property and the thieves.
Mountain View police detective Tim Minor has taken steps to amend a city ordinance that would require these jewelry dealers to document store purchases from private citizens -- including requiring identification.
Jaeger said this case is an example of why the ordinance needed to be updated, and how it can be effective in tracking down thieves in the future.