GILROY (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County sheriff’s detectives have recovered stolen firearms in connection with a home invasion robbery in Gilroy three months ago.
The weapons, which included 20 handguns and 40 rifles, were found in several secret compartments hidden beneath a carpeted floor at the apartment of 25-year-old Ernesto Gonzalez in San Jose on Wednesday morning, sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Sung said.
Detectives also found various collectible items that belonged to the victim, as well as an assault rifle that they determined was stolen from a Sunnyvale residence in a separate residential burglary case, Sung said.
Gonzalez and five others were arrested earlier this month in connection with the alleged robbery, which occurred on Feb. 6 at a home in the 1000 block of Rucker Avenue.
On that night, three suspects ambushed the victim, a 59-year-old man, when he arrived home around 9 p.m. They allegedly tied up the man and then tortured him by repeatedly striking him with pool cues and wooden sticks before pouring chemical substances over his face and body to get him to reveal the combination code to his safe, sheriff’s officials said.
The suspects beat the victim to the point where he temporarily lost consciousness, according to the sheriff’s office.
They took various items from the victim’s home, including guns, stamps, coins and playing cards. They fled with his pickup truck, but the truck was later found burning in the area of state highways 9 and 35, just outside of Saratoga.
After the suspects left his home, the victim was able to untie himself and run to his neighbor’s house to call authorities.
He was taken to a hospital and underwent surgery for his injuries, which at the time were considered life threatening.
The arrest of Gonzalez and five others were made on May 3 at five different locations throughout the Bay Area, according to the sheriff’s office.
The suspects have been identified as Juvenal Reyes, 62, of Gilroy; Danny Rivera, 22, of San Jose; Norberto Serna, 41, of Morgan Hill; and Juan Fonseca, 21, of San Jose. A juvenile was also arrested.
Gonzales, Reyes, Fonseca and Serna have been charged with attempted murder, arson, torture, conspiracy, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and vehicle theft.
Rivera faces a possession of stolen property charge.
All are still in custody and will plead to the charges on June 14.
The investigation included the assistance of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the Gilroy and San Jose police departments, the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Julian Quinonez or Detective Sgt. Ryan Elder at (408) 808-4500 or during non-business hours (408) 808-4400. Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can call the sheriff’s tip line at (408) 808-4431.
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