Two arrested for armed robbery, gang enhancement

Tulare County Sheriff deputies arrest Francisco Ontiveros, 18, and a 16-year-old for hitting a victim with a gun, stealing a phone, shouting gang slurs

TULARE COUNTY – Sheriff’s deputies arrest two individuals for an armed robbery that took place on Christmas Eve.

On Dec. 24, Tulare County Sheriff Office (TCSO) deputies were called to the Earlimart Neighborhood Park for a report of an assault. When they arrived, they learned the victim had been at the park and was approached by two men. The men yelled out gang slurs, hit the victim with a gun and stole his cell phone.

Francisco Ontiveros, age 18

On Dec 30, Tulare Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement (T.A.G.N.E.T.) detectives continued the investigation and identified Francisco Ontiveros, 18, and a 16-year-old boy as the suspects in the assault and robbery. Detectives found Ontiveros in Earlimart and took him into custody without incident.

On Dec. 31, T.A.G.N.E.T. detectives tracked the 16-year-old to a home in Wasco and took him into custody without incident. Ontiveros was booked at the Tulare County South County Detention Facility and the juvenile was booked at the Tulare County Juvenile Detention Facility. Both are being charged with robbery and gang enhancement.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact detective Randy Hoppert or sergeant Chad Bruce at 559-733-6218. To remain anonymous, call or text 559-725-4194 or through email at [email protected]

Anyone with information regarding gang activity in Tulare County is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 1-888-END-GANG (1-888-363-4264).

Sheriff’s Crime Log

Wednesday Jan. 4

Deputies found the stolen vehicle in an orchard in Exeter

Just after 6 a.m., TCSO deputies were searching for a car that was stolen in the city of Porterville. The victim had left her phone inside of her car, which allowed deputies to track its location. Deputies found the car and a short pursuit ensued. Due to road conditions, the pursuit was terminated. Deputies later found the car abandoned in an orchard near the area of East Meyer and Greer Road, in Exeter.

Deputies worked with other agencies to find the suspect. Jose Garcia Reyes, 32, of Visalia, was taken into custody without incident. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact deputy Nathan Scroggins or sergeant Scott O’Neill at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 559-733-6218 or anonymously through the TipNow Program at 559-725-4194 or [email protected]

Thursday Dec. 29

TCSO deputies were called to the area of Avenue 112 and Road 208 for a stolen tractor. The victim told deputies, between 6 p.m. on Dec. 28 and 6 a.m. on  Dec. 29, a 2020 John Deere 410L Backhoe, worth $98,500, was stolen.

On that same day, deputies were also called to the area of Avenue 112 and Road 208 for a stolen Skid Steer. The victim told deputies, between 2 p.m. on Dec. 28 and 7 a.m. on  Dec. 29, someone came onto the property and took a 2019 Caterpillar 289D Skid Steer worth about $70,000.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact sergeant Randy Gunderman, detective Ryan Pugh or detective Jeremy McMillan with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 559-733-6218. Or, to remain anonymous call or text 559-725-4194 or through email at [email protected]

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