Altercation leads to shots fired in Parkwood area


For The Madera Tribune

Juan Carlos Cruz, 20, sits in custody Wednesday evening after officers were called to a burglary at a residence.

A brief altercation led to five to six rounds being fired from a vehicle at a group standing in the 27000 block of Saunders Road, in the area of old Parkwood, according to Madera police authorities.


Sgt. Mark Trukki said the shots were fired about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from a small caliber handgun, and landed in a parked car.


“Fortunately (the shots) missed striking the group standing outside near the car. We also believe the shooting may have been gang related,” Trukki said.


“The police department will also be continuing our gang task force sweeps, at random dates and times” to remove the active gang members and guns from Madera neighborhoods, Trukki said.


Trukki said prevention of further gang violence was key, and detectives were pursuing all eyewitness reports of the vehicle the shots were fired from. He encouraged residents to call police dispatch operators at 675-4220 with any information on this shooting incident or any other gang activity they may be aware of. The line is answered 24/7.


Valley Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP, pays up to a $2,000 cash reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in a crime, called into their tip line or made on their website. You can remain anonymous.


Burgler nabbed with the goods


Residents in the 800 block of Green Way were shocked when they came home to find a homeless man in their kitchen, calmly sitting at the table having some soup from their pantry.


After the man fled, the residents discovered their home had also been burglarized and two of their laptops were missing, along with some other valuables Wednesday afternoon.


Police located 20 year-old Juan Carlos Cruz, of Madera, short time later walking in the area of north D Street and Cleveland Avenue, pushing a shopping cart with some of the items reported missing from the residence in his possession.


Sgt. Mark Trukki said the break in appeared to have been a random crime of opportunity and Cruz had no apparent connection to the residents he burglarized. Trukki cautioned residents to keep valuables out of plain sight in vehicles or homes at all times of year.


Cruz had allegedly forced his way inside the residence through a side window. Most, but not all of the stolen items were found and returned to the rightful owners. He was arrested and charged with residential burglary, and for being a minor under the influence of alcohol and is being held on $50,000 bond.


Meth seized by police


Police seized a loaded handgun and three quarters of a pound of methamphetamine after noticing a local woman in a car wanted on an outstanding felony warrant, according to Madera police authorities.


Sgt. Mark Trukki said the traffic stop and the drug seizure on Dec. 10 took a significant amount of meth off the streets and was good old-fashioned police work with officers being proactive while out on patrol.


“Officers noticed the woman passenger, Sonia Oritz, 39, of Madera, from an outstanding arrest warrant.” Trukki said. “The driver, Diego Garcia, 26, also of Madera, was found to have the loaded .25 caliber gun in his pants, along with the drugs. They were both arrested and taken into custody without incident.”


Garcia was charged with multiple felonies, probation violations, a loaded handgun and possession of drugs for sale. He is being held on $85,000 bail.


Ortiz is being held on a felony warrant and other parole violations.

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