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SCV Sheriff’s Station continues crackdown on Canyon Country bike path crime

Posted: June 19, 2014 7:10 p.m.
Updated: June 19, 2014 7:10 p.m.
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Local sheriff’s deputies expect to arrest at least four more people as they continue their investigation into robberies reported on bike paths in Canyon Country, a deputy said Thursday.

“We’re looking at between four or five suspects being arrested in connection with the bike path incident,” Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Dubin told The Signal Thursday.

Deputies continue to probe at least two robberies and an attempted robbery that occurred in May. In one of the robberies, as many as eight men reportedly swarmed the victim.

“This is an active investigation,” Dubin said Thursday, noting that deputies assigned to the station’s Crime Prevention Unit have teamed up with those assigned to the Career Offenders, Burglary, Robbery Apprehension Team, or COBRA, in response to the bike path robberies.

“There are still outstanding suspects,” he said.

Deputies last week arrested three people in connection with the bike path robberies, including a 15-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man.

On Thursday, Dubin revealed that Santa Clarita Valley residents contacted the sheriff’s station several times each day this week to express their gratitude.

“They say they’re happy after the arrest of the three,” he said. “We want people to know that they’re safe on the bike paths.”

Deputies patrol the bike paths and paseos by bicycle and T3 electric stand-up patrol vehicles.

BIKE PATHS
The joint bike path investigation began May 25, when a robbery was reported at 12:05 a.m. in the area of Sierra Highway and Via Princessa, Dubin said in a news release issued earlier this week.

“The victim reportedly was riding his bicycle on the path close to the wash area when he was surrounded by eight males,” Dubin said. “One of the males pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him. The males then stole the victim’s wallet, backpack, cellphone and credit cards.”

This robbery occurred just after another robbery was reported earlier that same evening at the same location with similar suspect descriptions, he said.

On May 31, deputies learned of an attempted robbery that occurred about 6 p.m. near the 18300 block of Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

“The victim reported while walking on the bike path in the area he was approached by approximately 10 males, one of which pulled out a black handgun and demanded the victim’s money,” Dubin said.

“When the victim stated he had no money, the suspects hit the victim. The suspects then fled the area,” said Dubin.

COBRA detectives identified 21-year-old Raymond Gatica, who lives near Canyon Country Park, described as 6-foot-3 and 160 pounds, as one of the primary suspects in these robbery incidents.

Gatica was arrested June 12 at 2:30 p.m. for his alleged involvement in the robberies. He remains in custody at Men’s Central Jail with bail set at $235,000, according to the Inmate Information Center maintained by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

He was the second suspect arrested in the robbery incidents, according to detectives.

A 15-year-old boy was detained and taken to Sylmar Juvenile Hall for his alleged involvement in these incidents.

“It is the goal of everyone at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station to send a clear message to anyone considering using the paseo systems, bike paths, or trails for unlawful purposes such as loitering, alcohol consumption, drug use, or to commit acts of robbery, that these crimes will not be tolerated,” Dubin said in the news release issued this week.

jholt@signalscv.com
661-287-5527
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

 

 

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