Police in California apprehended three suspects in connection with the attempted armed robbery of a legal marijuana growing business in Patterson. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department says that as many as nine more individuals may have been involved. The attempted burglary occurred just nine days after a group of individuals assaulted a security guard at the facility. The business owner believes that the same group was responsible for both incidents.
SCSD deputies were dispatched to the scene at about 1:30 a.m. after a security guard called 911. The guard says that he made the call after noticing a group of approximately 12 individuals wearing masks and carrying handguns and rifles on security monitors. Deputies arrived at the business about 30 minutes later and established a perimeter near the intersection of Fig Avenue and Ash Avenue. The decision to enter the business was made when a SWAT team arrived at the scene.
The suspects attempted to leave the scene in vehicles or flee on foot when the SWAT team breached the front gates. Three individuals who failed to get away were taken into custody at the scene of the attempted burglary without incident, according to the SCSD. Deputies say that a search of the suspects in the immediate area led to the discovery of three handguns and two semiautomatic rifles. Two vehicles that police believe were used by the suspects were towed from the scene.
Prosecutors may offer to reduce charges or make lenient sentencing recommendations to encourage individuals who have been charged with theft to provide information about suspects still at large. While those who have had unpleasant dealings with law enforcement in the past could find such an offer unpalatable, experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise them to think carefully before declining. This kind of loyalty is rarely reciprocated in the real world, and it could be wiser for individuals facing years or even decades behind bars to think of themselves and use whatever leverage they have in plea negotiations. Attorneys could make this argument with particular vigor when their clients were apprehended during the commission of a crime.