Police Nab shooting suspect

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 6, 2012 

Police arrested a teen on Sunday who is suspected of shooting at a man in front of his home.

The Los Banos Police Department went to a residence in the 1700 block of Mills Drive to investigate a tip about a 15-year-old male suspect in an October shooting.

Detectives identified the teen as a suspect in November and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Officers located the suspect inside a bedroom at his parent’s home. Police said they also found a loaded handgun with the serial numbers grinded off.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, participation in a criminal street gang, being a gang member in possession of a firearm, child endangerment and being a juvenile in possession of a firearm.

“Thankfully there were no injuries in this case, and nobody was injured during the arrest. The suspect was also charged with child endangerment because another child was found in the room and could have injured himself with the suspects loaded gun,” Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said.

The teen was booked into Merced County Juvenile Hall.

Los Banos police gave no word on the status of additional suspects believed to be involved.

The arrest stems from an Oct. 23 incident in which a 46-year-old was confronted several juvenile males in front of his home after a confrontation with his son. One of the males drew a gun and fired at the man, but missed.

Burglary arrests

On Tuesday police arrested the last of three teen home burglary suspects reportedly connected to a theft of nearly $18,000 worth of property.

Police responded to a residence on the 600 Block of Monterey Court Nov. 16 regarding a residential burglary. Law enforcement was told $18,000.00 in property had been stolen during the burglary.

Detectives subsequently identified a 16-year-old female, a 16-year-old male and 18-year-old Samuel Arroyo, all of Los Banos, as the suspects in the burglary.

Tuesday Arroyo was placed under arrest by the Merced County Probation Department and booked into the Los Banos Police Department jail.

On Nov. 30 the juvenile female was placed under arrest and detectives allegedly found several text messages discussing the planning of the burglary.

Detectives also served a search warrant at the home of the 16-year-old male. Police said they discovered property at the teen’s home that was reported stolen in the residential burglary. The 16-year-old was not home during the time of the search and has not been located.

“This all started with a tip our officer received about who was involved in the burglary. From there, our detectives put several days of work into this case and ultimately ended up recovering a majority of the stolen property. This was a great effort on their part,” Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said.


A man who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase and got away was found and arrested the next day, according to police.

On Monday at 8:13 p.m. Officer Sean Bayard was on patrol in the area of 7th and I Street when he reportedly saw a 1997 Buick Lesabre speeding and passing another vehicle in an unsafe manner.

Bayard attempted to stop the vehicle but the suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Peter Robert Noriega, of Los Banos, allegedly led the officer on a high speed vehicle pursuit.

Police said Noriega ran several stop signs and eventually crashed his vehicle into a curb in the 700 block of Iowa Avenue. Noriega ran from the scene and escaped police, authorities said.

However, on Tuesday Officer Bayard located Noriega inside an apartment on the 500 block of Pinion Street. Noriega was reportedly found to be in possession of a controlled substance.

Noriega was arrested on suspicion of failure to yield to an emergency vehicle with disregard for public safety, driving with a suspended license, possession of a controlled substance, and for violation of his probation conditions. He is being held at the Merced County Jail without bail.

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