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Bay Area vehicle theft ring busted; Stolen vehicles, guns, body armor vests seized

PIX Now 12:57

SAN PABLO -- Four suspects were in custody and one remained at large Friday after an investigation into a San Pablo shooting uncovered a sophisticated Bay Area vehicle theft ring.

San Pablo police said 26-years old Jose Alberto Torres Flores of Union City; 21-years old Alexander Martinez of Newark; 20-years old Eduardo Garcia Perez of Newark and 20-years old Alexander Echeverria of Newark all were in custody after a lengthy investigation.

Yoaxsi Alberto Garcia, a 19-year-old from Hayward, remained at large and was the subject of a region-wide search.

Martinez, Perez, Echeverria, and Torres-Flores have been booked into Contra Costa County Jail on charges of conspiracy, attempted homicide, vehicle theft, and weapons violations.

(Clockwise from upper left) Alexander Martinez, Eduardo Garcia Perez, Jose Alberto Torres Flores, Yoaxsi Alberto Garcia, Alexander Echeverria San Pablo Police Department

The arrests stem from a November 26, 2022 shooting in the 1700 block of Bush Ave. Officers responding to a ShotSpotter activation of reported gunshots found an 18-year-old male suffering non-life-threatening injuries. 

Investigators said the victim had confronted several suspects in front of his home as they attempted to break into his parked SUV. The suspects fled to a Jeep standing by and one of the suspect passengers began shooting at the victim as they drove away.

With the assistance of safety cameras and weeks of surveillance, detectives were able to identify the suspects and launch their investigation.

During the course of that investigation, the detectives uncovered a sophisticated stolen vehicle ring in which the suspects and their associates targeted high-end Jeep SUVs and Dodge Chargers for theft throughout the Bay Area.

San Pablo detectives quickly learned that the Newark police had initiated a parallel investigation into the same stolen vehicle ring.

The two departments teamed up on busting up the operation.

On Thursday, a multi-agency operation took place in which search warrants were served in the following locations: 6200 block of Noel Avenue, Newark; 300 block of Riviera Drive, Union City; 36000 block of Cherry Street, Newark; 6300 block of Baine Avenue, Newark; and storage units located in Oakland and San Leandro.

Evidence seized in vehicle burglary ring bust. San Pablo Police Department

During the raids, investigators seized or recovered 17 stolen vehicles with an estimated value of over $1 million; 12 firearms; thousands of rounds of ammunition; ballistic body armor vests; high capacity magazines and gun silencers

 Flores was arrested at his home on Riviera Drive in Union City. Echeverria was arrested at his home on Baine Ave. in Newark. Martinez and Perez were arrested later in the day at the Noel Ave. location in Newark.

Garcia remains at large and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Garcia is encouraged to contact your local law enforcement or the San Pablo Police Investigations Unit at 510-215-3150. 

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