Twenty-year-old Cesar Raya and 22-year-old Vincent Lopez-Prado, both of Visalia, will have a lot of time to think in prison about their criminal actions.
Raya received a 88 years-to-life sentence Friday for violent crimes he committed in 2017. That came after fellow gang member Lopez-Prado was sentenced to 92 years-to-life for his role in the crimes on July 23.
Doorbell Camera Identifies Raya
According to Tulare County court records, Lopez-Prado and Raya entered the home of an Exeter couple and stole firearms and ammunition at about 4 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2017. But the residents woke up during the robbery, and the gang members fired twice, hitting the man in the arm. After pointing a gun at the woman, the pair fled.
However, detectives caught a break in the home-invasion case when neighbors of the victims provided their Ring doorbell camera footage of a prowler, and Raya was identified, leading to his arrest.
CHP Nabs Lopez-Prado After Traffic Accident
Four days later, Visalia Police responded to a shots-fired call at an apartment complex. During a search, officers found the Exeter couple’s guns, ammunition, car keys, and house keys in an apartment rented by
Lopez-Prado. Police arrested him on Feb. 28, 2017, after a traffic accident.
CHP officers at the scene found a 9mm handgun with a 30-round magazine. Testing revealed gunshot residue on Lopez-Prado’s hand, and the gun matched shell casings from shots fired an hour earlier at a house in Visalia.
Later, cell phone data placed Lopez-Prado in Exeter at the time of the Feb. 23 crime.
The Investigators, Prosecutors
Tulare County Deputy District Attorney Candice Moore prosecuted the cases against Raya and Lopez-Prado. The Exeter Police Department, the Visalia Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol conducted the investigations.