Three arrested at gunpoint
More than a dozen South Lake Tahoe police officers arrested three men at gunpoint Tuesday in front of the liquor store and Port of Subs at 3101 Harrison Ave.
The men were driving a gray Mazda pickup truck reported stolen on Jan. 11 in Hayward Calif.
Mario Moya, 26, of Hayward, his cousin, Luis Monzano, 23, and Jose Briseno, 22, both of South Lake Tahoe, were arrested and booked into the El Dorado County Jail.
Some witnesses were shocked at the number of officers involved in the arrest, but Sgt. Steve O’Brien said that such a police presence was normal. The large number of officers were necessary to control traffic and provide a show of force for the suspects.
“We had no idea who was in the vehicle so we had to take certain precautions,” O’Brien said.
South Lake Tahoe detectives, thinking the truck was suspicious, checked its license plates and learned it was stolen. Police then followed the suspects until they had the opportunity to make the high-risk traffic stop, according to O’Brien.
“I’ve never seen anything like this around here, and I’ve been here for 28 years,” said Frank Sutter, a Pacific Bell employee who saw the arrest. “I was doing some work in the video store, I came out and all the guys were there with there guns out.”
O’Brien said the owner of the truck was on vacation in Mexico when the truck was stolen. While he knows Moya, did not give him permission to take the truck. Moya took the vehicle’s keys and registration from the owner who asked him to give them to someone else for safe-keeping.
The truck showed recent signs of damage and police are investigating a number of recent hit and runs involving a similar vehicle.