Murrieta: Alert Neighbor Foils Residential Burglary Saturday Night… Suspect Arrested

On Saturday, February 10, the Murrieta Police Department Dispatch Center received a call from a resident concerned about a male acting suspicious near the 24700 block of Half Dome Court. The caller stated that he was watching the male tampering with the windows in his neighbor’s backyard.

The caller was able to provide the dispatcher with a description of the suspect, including his clothing. While on the line with the dispatcher, the caller stated that the male in question successfully removed a window screen and had climbed through the window and into the home.

While the caller was providing this information to dispatch, several officers responded to the house in question. As they arrived, they observed a male walking out of the front door of the home.

The male matched the description provided by the original caller. The officers contacted the subject, later identified as Joshua Gomez, 29 a resident of Riverside.

Officers detained him while they conducted their investigation. During the investigation, officers located video and photos of Mr. Gomez in the backyard of the residence in question. Officers also located tools commonly used to commit burglary in Mr. Gomez’s possession as well as modified keys often used to assist in the theft of vehicles.

A records check of Mr. Gomez revealed a lengthy criminal history, with several convictions for vehicle theft, burglary and possession of burglary tools. The check also revealed that Mr. Gomez was out on bail for an arrest in December 2017 for vehicle theft. Based upon Mr. Gomez’s history of vehicle theft and the fact that modified vehicle keys found in his possession, the officers checked the area for any possible stolen vehicles.

Approximately one block away, the officers located a vehicle that was reported stolen from Riverside the day prior. Items belonging to Mr. Gomez were located inside the stolen vehicle.

Mr. Gomez was placed under arrest for burglary, vehicle theft, possession of burglary tools as well as prior conviction enhancement charges and booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center. The owner was notified of the recovery of his vehicle.

Thanks to the observant citizen who went above and beyond by watching out for his neighbors, a career criminal is off of our streets. These kind of incidents remind us to get to know our neighbors and look out for each other. It’s this community networking that makes Murrieta unique and a safer place to live. 

Press Release Provided by the Murrieta Police Department