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Suspects Arrested for Looting in Visalia Store Thefts



Photo of man in handcuffs as seen from behind
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Three suspects were taken into custody Monday on charges of looting after being caught by Visalia police taking items from a Harbor Freight Tools store.

Officers were conducting a security check behind businesses on S. Mooney Blvd. when two men were seen carrying power tools out the store’s rear exit, the Visalia Police Department said in a Facebook post.

One of the men leaving the store was arrested as he attempted to get into a waiting vehicle. The vehicle’s driver was arrested as well. The other suspect fled, but was later located and arrested, officials said.

The property from the store was recovered, the post said.

The suspects, Raymond Sepeda, 54, Freddy Santillanes, 31, and Jamari Metz, 29, were all booked into the Tulare County Adult Pre-Trial facility for looting, theft and conspiracy.

Visalia police Sgt. Celeste Sanchez said the looting charge is related to the commission of a theft during California’s declared COVID-19 state of emergency.

(This story has been updated to include additional information from the Visalia Police Department.)

Randy Reed is a writer and content producer for GV Wire. He has experience reporting for local radio stations and newspapers. In addition, he an extensive background in video production focused on news and documentary subjects. Reed is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communications. In his free time, Reed enjoys digital photography as a hobby and loves to explore the scenic beauty of our Valley’s three spectacular National Parks. You can contact Randy at 559-705-2107 or Send an Email.

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