Stolen Guns Recovered in El Centro, Suspects Arrested

An El Centro Police SWAT team was deployed to recovered stolen weapons from a motel located on Adams Avenue in El Centro on July 21.

EL CENTRO — On July 21, a burglary to a residence on the 2600 block of Orange Avenue was reported to the El Centro Police Department in which several items of personal property were stolen from the residence, including two long rifles and a pellet gun.

Investigators from the El Centro Police Department conducted a follow-up investigation using surveillance that indicated the property in question was located in a motel room on Adams Avenue.

A search warrant was sought and obtained from the court and due to the potential dangers involving firearms, the El Centro Police Department SWAT team was deployed to serve a warrant for a room in a motel located on Adams Avenue in El Centro.

Two other rooms were identified as having a nexus to the primary location and were also searched during the investigation and in the service of the search warrant, according to reports.

Several people were apparently called out and detained from multiple rooms at the location, and an ECPD  canine was used to clear the rooms prior to SWAT operators entering. Upon searching the locations, ECPD detectives were able to locate two of the stolen guns in one room, and the third in another room.

No officers or civilians were injured during this operation.

Suspects Mario Sandoval, 30, of El Centro and Jose Tamayo, 35, of Calipatria, were arrested and booked at the Imperial County Jail on suspicion of possession of stolen property and being felons in possession of a firearm. The investigation continues into the burglary of the residence.

El Centro Police commented that they would remind El Centro residents to be diligent in the protection of their homes and property. Good perimeter lighting, fencing and ensuring locks are functioning and used regularly to secure homes are good deterrents, according to the police. They also suggest community members get to know neighbors and have a friend or family member check on homes when traveling out of town. The also warned against announcing extended time away from home on social media sites during these summer months and vacations.