Crime

Family fights back in Santa Maria home invasion robbery, 3 teens arrested

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A family fought off a home invasion robbery in Santa Maria early Saturday morning, and three teenagers were arrested in connection with the attack, according to a news release from the Santa Maria Police Department.

Police received a “frantic” 911 call from a resident in the Western Avenue and Frank Lane area at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. According to police, the caller said three people armed with a rifle and knives had just broken into their home.

When police arrived, they saw two people running away and chased them down, according to the release. Additional law enforcement officers arrived at the home and found that the father of the family had “subdued and detained” the third suspect inside the home, police said.

Police learned through interviews that the parents were woken up when the suspects held a gun to the father’s head and demanded valuables, according to the release.

The couple’s 11-year-old son was woken up by the disturbance and went to his parents’ room, where he saw a suspect holding a gun to his father’s head, the release said.

“Without hesitation, the 11-year-old son tackled the gunman,” police said in the news release. “The father immediately fought with the gunman as mom and another teenage son physically fought off the other armed attackers, sustaining serious physical injuries.”

Police arrested the suspects, identified as Manual Duran, 18, Alberto Pablo Montes, 18, and a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing a firearm, according to the release.

Duran and Montes were taken to the Santa Barbara County Jail and the 15-year-old, whose identity is being withheld because he’s a minor, was taken to Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall, police said.

As of Sunday morning, Duran and Montes are in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail each, according to jail records.

Police said the incident was apparently “a random crime of opportunity,” according to the release. They ask anyone with information to call either Officer Alexander Harvey at 805-928-3781 extension 2227 or Detective Philip Dix at 805-928-3781 extension 2424.

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