Niland trio arrested in restaurant burglary case

June 29, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

NILAND — County Sheriff's Office deputies and Calipatria police officers worked together to catch three men accused of burglarizing a Niland restaurant.

Sheriff's Investigator Johnie B. Higgins said a woman was driving by the My Magic Castle restaurant on Highway 111 here about 7:30 p.m. when she saw two men standing near the restaurant and one of the windows broken.

She called the Sheriff's Office, which requested assistance from Calipatria police.

The woman then drove around the restaurant to look at the suspects again. This time she saw three men, one of whom was carrying what appeared to be a radio.

She told sheriff's dispatchers the men left the scene and headed north on Highway 111.

Calipatria Police Chief Reggie Gomez said officers Eric Granada and Cory VanDriessche responded to the assistance call.

After they arrived in Niland, they were told by a dispatcher the suspects were seen heading to an apartment complex at 17 W. 4th St.


Officers surrounded the apartment complex and began searching for the suspects.

Gomez said Granada was approached by a girl who said she had seen the three men but didn't know where they were.

Higgins said at the same time the suspects were in the girl's home trying to sell a radio to the girl's mother.

Investigators think the radio was stolen from the restaurant.

He said the girl's mother knew the suspects, but didn't buy the radio, so the suspects left.

As the suspects were leaving the upstairs apartment, the little girl saw the men and told Granada the men were the suspects.

While they were leaving, the men left the radio on the stairway.

Granada and VanDriessche arrested the three and they were turned over to sheriff's Deputy Rafael Peraza.

The suspects arrested were brothers Eric, 22, and Shawn Cox, 20, and Rodger Parman, 20, all of Niland.

They were arrested for burglary and possession of stolen property.

Higgins said they are being held at the county jail. Information on their bail amount was not available.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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