Smartphone gets the better of dumb thief

Visalia Police track down residential burglar using victim’s smartphone GPS function


VISALIA – Smartphones have grown to become tracking devices that we carry around all day long. While that makes some people uneasy, one Visalia resident is relieved.

On Saturday, July 6, at 10:26 p.m. Visalia police officers were dispatched to the 2600 block of S. Verde Vista in regards to a residential burglary. Upon arrival, officers learned that a suspect entered the residence from an unsecured sliding glass door. Once inside, the suspect stole a purse containing a smart phone and a large sum of cash.

Using the phone’s GPS feature, officers were able to identify its location in the 1100 block of E. Noble. Officers checking that area located a suspect matching the description of Jake Palomino, 23, from home surveillance footage. As officers attempted contact, Palomino attempted to hide in the apartment complex.

A police K-9 was utilized to locate Palomino and he gave up without incident and was detained. The stolen purse, phone, and cash were all located Palomino was positively identified through victim identification and surveillance footage. He was arrested and booked on multiple charges at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility.

Visalia Police Logs

Sunday, July 7

At 1:21 a.m. officers were dispatched to a burglar alarm at the Men’s Wearhouse. Upon arrival, officers found that a window to the business had been smashed and an unknown suspect made entry into the business. Several suits were stolen from the business and the suspect fled prior to officers arriving on scene.

Saturday, July 6

At 6:09 p.m., officers respond to a disturbance at the Visalia Mall. A male had been yelling at customers, striking display cases, and then hit a security guard. He ran south through the parking lot and was contacted near A&W Restaurant. As officers attempted to detain him, he became combative and uncooperative. He continued to kick officers and was finally taken into custody. Once he was in the patrol car, he began kicking the interior, causing damage. At the jail, he was identified as Yazmane Garcia. He was charged with battery, assault on an officer, and vandalism.

At 6:09 p.m., officers respond to a disturbance at Harbor Freight. It was reported that a male locked himself in the restroom and refused to come out. While en route, the suspect left the business and was in the center median of Mooney Blvd. When officers tried to contact him, he stabbed at them with an object that later turned out to be a pen. After a brief struggle, he was arrested for assault and violation of parole. Officers later identified him as Eric Guerra, 28.

Friday, July 5

At 1:59 a.m. the Visalia Police Department responded to Rozi’s Market located at 831 S. Lovers Lane for a report of a commercial burglary. Upon arrival officers discovered that an unknown suspect had forced entry to the business and removed an undisclosed amount of property. The suspect was able to flee prior the arrival of police. The investigation into this incident is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Visalia Police Department. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the tip line at (559) 713-4738.

Wednesday, July 3

At 4:08 a.m., officers were flagged down in the area of Akers and Mineral King by the victim regarding a robbery that had just occurred at the Majestic Inn. Officers responded to the area and observed a vehicle leaving the room where the robbery had occurred. A traffic stop was conducted, and the driver Ivan Hidalgo, 29, was found in possession of ammunition and is a convicted felon. A search warrant was served at the Majestic Inn by members of Visalia Police Department Violent Crimes Unit, Special Enforcement Unit, and Patrol. Efrian Orozco, 29, was located inside the room. Also located inside the room was methamphetamine. Orozco was booked at Tulare County Jail for possession of methamphetamine, and Hidlago was booked at Tulare County Jail for felon in possession of ammunition.

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