Suspected Burglars Tracked from Elk Grove to South Sac, Arrested by SWAT

Two were arrested Wednesday morning.

Update, 6:40 p.m.: Elk Grove Police have identified the suspects as 25-year-old Arturo Martinez and 27-year-old Moises Malava.


Original story:

Two suspects were arrested in south Sacramento Wednesday morning after it was believed they stole a handgun and backpack full of ammunition from a car in Elk Grove, authorities say.

In fact, police say the alleged thieves got away with a backpack full of bullets but no gun–it was locked in a safe the entire time.

Elk Grove Police Department spokesman Officer Chris Trim said the two suspects–who have not yet been identified–were spotted breaking into a car at the Terracina Apartments near Franklin and Laguna boulevards around 6 a.m. The owner of the car said a backpack was taken that contained a .25-caliber, semi-automatic handgun and ammunition.

A witness was able to describe their getaway car, a black Nissan, Trim said.

"About 45 minutes later, an Elk Grove sergeant on his way home on I-5 northbound saw this vehicle," Trim said. The officer, off-duty in his personal car, followed the suspects at a distance while he called for help.

The CHP and Sacramento Police responded, and the suspect vehicle fled through Land Park and into south Sacramento, Trim said.

Trim said the suspects then bailed out of their car at 35th Avenue near 26th and 27th streets, continuing on foot. Officers found the stolen backpack in the suspects' car, but it contained only bullets, leading authorities to believe the suspects were armed with the stolen gun.

Officers from the Elk Grove and Sacramento Police Departments, and the CHP, set up a perimeter. A CHP helicopter and plane circled overhead, and the Sacramento Police Department's SWAT team and K-9 units searched for the suspects.

Around 10:30 a.m., the pair was found hiding in the empty rear unit of a duplex in the 3400 block of 24th Street, Trim said. They were arrested without incident.

Also arrested were two others who were believed to be text-messaging or otherwise communicating with the burglary suspects, helping them evade the SWAT search party.

Shortly later, the original burglary victim called police to say he had found his missing handgun locked in a safe in his apartment, Trim said.

Detectives believe the burglary suspects may be involved in other crimes around the area, and have not yet released their names, Trim said.


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Margot Lizardo January 02, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Good job EG police! Can you find out why someone has bullets and a (alleged) gun in a backpack....?
Cody Kitaura January 02, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Margot, I should have mentioned - police say the gun in question, which was in a locked safe indoors the entire time, is completely legal - registered and all.
M.Legison January 03, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Margot's question is well stated. Regardless if the handgun was locked in a safe, the victim thought it was in the backpack. What possible reason, besides being illegal unless he has a permit to carry, which is unlikely? If you do carry a concealed pistol in a vehicle, it must be locked in a proper lock box and separate from ammunition to be legal. Not seeing just one guilty party here.
ElkGroveGuy January 03, 2013 at 02:53 PM
My vehicle was burglarized in December in the general area of were these guys were breaking into homes/cars did the police happen to come across any stolen items


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