Sheriff’s Office closes in on suspects for robberies, murder

Deputies arrest Alexis Ceballos for his part in robberies including one at the Speedway Gas Station in Earlimart, his part in a Dec. 24 murder in Farmersville

TULARE COUNTY – The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office announced that they are closing in on arrests for a rash of gas station robberies and a murder in Farmersville.

According to the Sheriff’s office, in early afternoon on Friday, Feb. 4, detectives served multiple search warrants related to a series of armed robberies which occurred over the last several weeks, including a Christmas morning robbery at the Speedway Gas Station in Earlimart. 

Detectives had previously identified Alexis Ceballos, 18, of Porterville as one of the suspects responsible for these robberies. During the search warrants, detectives spotted Ceballos get into a car and leave one of the related homes. Detectives stopped the car near Olive Avenue and Highway 65 in Porterville. Ceballos got out and ran off. After a brief chase and search, Ceballos was arrested. 

While investigating these crimes, detectives learned Ceballos and his associates, who were previously arrested and charged in this case, are responsible for at least eight armed robberies, ranging from Tulare County to Los Angeles between Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, 2021. 

They are also suspected and have been charged with a homicide in Farmersville on Dec. 24, 2021. Ceballos was booked into custody at the Tulare County Sheriff’s pre-trial facility on a warrant associated with the December armed robberies. He was also booked on a warrant for the Farmersville murder investigation. He is being held without bail. Over the course of this investigation, detectives obtained evidence indicating Ceballos continued to commit armed robberies well after the December crime spree. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Mike Torres, Detective Matt Rascon or Sergeant Demecio Holguin with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218, or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting (559) 725-4194 or through email at [email protected].

Sheriff’s Log

Saturday, Feb. 5
On Wednesday, February 3, 2022, TCSO Deputies were called to a shooting at a home in the 20600 block of Road 204 in Lindsay. When they arrived, they found a pregnant woman who had been shot in her torso. She was taken to a local hospital for emergency medical care and has since been released. Detectives took over the investigation and learned the victim had been in a verbal argument with her husband, 42-year-old Antonio Salas, when he shot her. At the time of the shooting, she was holding her one-year-old son. Luckily, her son and unborn baby were not harmed. Antonio ran away from the home after the shooting, but was later found and arrested by deputies and is being held on $500,000 bail. The gun used in the shooting was recovered from the scene. Salas faces charges of attempted murder, child endangerment, corporal injury to a spouse and receiving stolen property.  Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Robby Hebrard or Sergeant Demico Holguin with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218, or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting (559) 725-4194 or through email at [email protected].

Wednesday, Feb. 2
At approximately 6 p.m., deputies were called to the 100 block of North Reservation Road on the Tule River Indian Reservation in the unincorporated area of Porterville for someone starting fires. When they arrived, deputies detained 26-year-old Loraha Garfield. During their investigation, deputies learned that Garfield set cardboard and wood on fire close to the home and said she wanted to burn it down to hurt or kill the person inside. Garfield is currently on probation for a previous arson-related offense and is required to be an arson registrant offender. She was arrested for arson and trespassing and booked into the Tulare County South County Detention Facility. Anyone with information is urged to contact Deputy J. McMillan or Sgt. B. McLean at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-808-0488, or anonymously at [email protected] or by text or voicemail at 559-725-4194.

Tuesday, Feb. 1
Detectives received information from Homeland Security about a large shipment of counterfeit goods heading to Tulare County from the Philippines. During the course of the investigation, detectives identified a home in the 800 block of Belmont Street in Tulare as the recipient of those goods. Detectives served a warrant at the home and found Maria Teresa Avina Lopez, 41, to be in possession of 704 counterfeit purses, 600 counterfeit articles of clothing and two large totes full of counterfeit jewelry. The estimated value of these items if they’d been sold is about $500,000. Lopez was arrested for possession of counterfeit goods. Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218, or send anonymous information by sending a text or email to [email protected] or call 1-800-TIPNOW.

Start typing and press Enter to search