Suspects Charged in Local Home Invasion Robberies

Six alleged gang members were recently arrested and charged with 60 felony counts in connection with multiple home invasion robberies — including two in La Cañada Flintridge, in which the victims were tied up — and escaping with cash and property worth more than $1 million, authorities said.
Suspects are alleged to have worn masks and gloves as they forced their way into homes, restraining victims and threatening them at gunpoint as they demanded cash and valuables.
Capt. Chris Blasnek of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station said he is relieved the suspects have been identified and charged.
“The arrests were the result of a lot of hard work and hundreds of hours of investigation by several law enforcement agencies,” Blasnek said in a statement. “Please be assured that the Crescenta Valley Station personnel and the entire Sheriff’s Department work diligently to solve all crimes within our jurisdiction.”
The robberies in LCF occurred last December in the 800 block of Inverness Drive and the 800 block of Flintridge Avenue, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Slater said in an email.
On Dec. 12, three female occupants were tied up after the suspects allegedly broke into a gated home at the end of a long, isolated drive.
In a second LCF incident, which occured on New Year’s Eve, one of the victims said she was grabbed in her backyard by a suspect who covered her mouth and forced her into the house, where other suspects confronted her son and husband. The suspects are alleged to have restrained them with zip ties and pointed guns at them. They demanded cash and left with money and a .38-caliber revolver.
According to a felony complaint filed by the L.A. County district attorney, the suspects are alleged to have traveled to LCF on various dates in early and late December before each of the robberies.
An additional six home invasion robberies as well as one residential burglary were committed in La Habra Heights, Rancho Palos Verdes, Playa del Rey and Palmdale, according to the L.A. County district attorney’s office.
LCF Mayor Terry Walker said she and other city officials are elated, and she credited Crescenta Valley sheriff’s deputies and their collaborative work with other agencies in the case.
“It was a big deal,” Walker said. “It’s not something that happens in La Cañada very often. I think we all understand what a traumatic experience it would be. … I do think it puts the entire community on edge. And I think they can feel a little bit better about the future.”
All of the crimes occurred between Feb. 9, 2017, and July 24, 2018. Five of the suspects were arrested after search warrants were served in the L.A. area on Oct. 18, and the case was presented to the district attorney’s office on Monday, according to the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department. The sixth suspect already was in prison.
Recovered during the search were two firearms, zip ties, gloves, masks, cash, jewelry, police scanners, handcuffs, walkie-talkies and items that authorities believe show gang affiliation.
Five of the six suspects have prior convictions for robbery or burglary, according to the felony complaint.
The six defendants had been scheduled to appear in court this week in Torrance but their arraignments were pushed back to Dec. 5, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the district attorney’s office, in an email.
Charged in the case are James Carmicle IV, 46, of Harbor City; Carlos Cisneros, 33, of Los Angeles; Dennis Coleman, 40, of Los Angeles; Janalisa Estrada, 39, of Los Angeles; Richard Morris, 38; and Kelyon Thomas, 45, of Los Angeles. Bail ranges from $1 million to $9 million.
All were charged with conspiracy to commit home invasion robbery. Carmicle, Cisneros, Coleman, Estrada and Thomas also face counts of home invasion robbery, false imprisonment by violence and assault with a firearm.
The crimes are additionally alleged to have occurred in collaboration with a South L.A. criminal street gang and someone was armed with a firearm in seven of the home invasions, authorities said.
More than $1 million in cash, property and jewelry was allegedly stolen during the robberies.
The maximum sentences for the six range from nine years to life in state prison.
All the crimes, including the two that occurred in LCF, were detailed in a 54-page felony complaint filed by the L.A. County district attorney’s office.
Palos Verdes Estates and Torrance police continue to investigate the case.

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