Police ask for help in locating two Earlimart men wanted for 14 armed robberies in Tulare County and Nebraska

@TheSunGazette

TULARE COUNTY – The Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in catching two of Tulare County’s most wanted. On Sept. 20, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux issued a statement asking the public to come forward with any information leading to the location and arrest of fugitives Homero Palomino Ontiveros, 32, and Ulises Medina, 24, both out of Earlimart. Both men are considered to be armed and dangerous.

Medina is known to frequent various areas within Tulare County, as well as in the State of Nebraska. Medina is described as a Hispanic male adult, between 5’3” and 5’6” tall, weighing between 155 and 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He is wanted by both the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Porterville Police Department, and the Fremont Police Department in Nebraska. Bail for Medina is set at $250,000.

Ontiveros is wanted for questioning by both the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and the Porterville Police Department and has an outstanding arrest warrant for robbery charges and conspiracy to commit robbery out of Dodge County, Nebraska. He is described as a Hispanic male adult, approximately 5’10” tall, weighing between 150 and 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Bail for Ontiveros is set at $1 million.

If you know their whereabouts, do not approach them. Instead, contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218 or anonymously through our TipNow Program at (559) 725-4194 or [email protected].

The two Earlimart men currently occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Sheriff’s Top 10 Most Wanted Criminals in Hiding for their connection to a string of brazen armed robberies in Porterville, Lindsay, Bakersfield and as far as Fremont, Neb.

More than $250,000 were taken during 14 armed robberies over 15 months. Twelve were in Tulare County which includes four in Porterville and two in Lindsay, one in Bakersfield and one in Delano. There was one armed robbery in Fremont, Neb. and one attempted burglary/theft of an ATM machine in Dodge County in Nebraska. None of the stolen money has been recovered.

Each robbery was the same: 3-4 armed suspects entered the business wearing masks and gloves. In an organized, methodical and well-planned manner, they tactically cleared out the store with assault rifles and pistols, scanning for any patrons or owners.

In English and Spanish, they demanded money and shouted, “Get on the ground.” With victims on the ground, they helped themselves to the cash register. In some instances, personal property such as cell phones and wallets were stolen. Then they fled in a stolen getaway vehicle which law enforcement found abandoned nearby. From there, suspects entered another vehicle later identified as a Silver 2009 Chevy Impala LTZ with chrome wheels.

In Tulare County, there were 19 male and female victims, ranging in age from 20-50 years old. No children were involved. Although victims were scared and in at least one case, zip tied; no one was physically assaulted. Shots were fired during one armed robbery in the city of Porterville, but no one was injured.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department spearheaded a multi-agency task force that included the Fresno office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, Tulare Area Regional Gang Enforcement Team (TARGET) and the Delano Police Department. The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office has also joined the pursuit of prosecuting these multi-jurisdictional robbery cases stemming from the current and ongoing investigation.

In June, the investigation led local detectives to travel to Nebraska, where they met with Fremont Police Detectives and Dodge County Sheriff’s Detectives, who were already investigating armed robberies that were very similar to the ones in Tulare County. While there, several witnesses were interviewed and information gathered was confirmed.

On July 26, 2017, members of the Sheriff’s CATTCH Unit (County Apprehension Team Seeking Criminals in Hiding) and Porterville

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