Father unwitting accomplice to burglary, son arrested

August 23, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

HOLTVILLE — A father unwittingly involved in driving a getaway vehicle from a burglary here Wednesday led Imperial County Sheriff's Office deputies to the stolen goods and to his son, who was arrested for the alleged crime.

The burglary occurred in the 1700 block of Thiesen Road shortly before noon.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jake Holguin said a witness reported seeing a black car arrive at the house and those who had been in the car walk around the home.

They then drove off. Later a red pickup returned to the house.

Holguin said the witness reported seeing two men from the pickup walk up to the house. They then were seen leaving the house with what looked like computer equipment.

When deputies arrived they found the house had been burglarized and ransacked.

Holguin said as he and other deputies started a search of the area, he found a red pickup stopped at a park in the city. He said he saw a group of elderly men sitting on a bench near the pickup.


Holguin said when he talked to the group one of the men, a 74-year-old Holtville resident, reported he had helped his son and a friend of his son pick up a computer the friend had recently purchased.

When the man, whose name was not released, was told of the burglary, he was surprised, Holguin said, adding the man said his son had told him to stay in the truck as they went after the computer.

Holguin said he believed the father had no idea he had been at the scene of a burglary.

Upon being told what had happened, the man led Holguin and deputies to the house where his son and the friend had dropped off the computer.

When deputies arrived at the home, they found the stolen computer and the man's son, identified as Guillermo Rios, 21, of Holtville.

Rios was booked into the county jail on suspicion of residential burglary and being in possession of stolen property. His bail was set at $25,000.

Deputies also found another man in the house, who said he was the brother of the friend who had been with Rios when the burglary occurred.

The brother said when the two dropped off the computer, he — like Rios' father — was told they had just purchased the computer.

The brother identified Rios' alleged accomplice as Steven Garibaldi, who as of this morning, had not been located.

Deputies were continuing to investigate the case and to search for Garibaldi.

The residents of the home on Thiesen Road were away at the time of the burglary.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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