SAN JOSE - On January 18, 2018, the San Jose Police Department announced its conclusion of a months-long, multi-agency investigation of a six-person burglary crew responsible for lottery ticket heists throughout Northern California. Five of the six suspects have been arrested and charged.
Targeting mostly gas stations and liquor or convenient stores, the suspects committed approximately 20 burglaries in San Jose and more than 30 burglaries within Santa Clara County. They also broke into businesses in Campbell, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Fremont, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, Tracy, Brentwood, Rio Vista, Elk Grove, Sacramento County, Rancho Cordova, and Calaveras County.
“California State Lottery investigators are an excellent law enforcement resource for these types of crimes,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Lottery investigators can provide valuable investigative information to local law enforcement officers who can then identify, investigate, track down and arrest suspects. This was an excellent job by all law enforcement officers involved, including our CSLEA Director Dennis Maffei, president of the California Association of Criminal Investigators (CACI) and a very gifted investigator with California State Lottery.”
The suspects often used a rock to smash the window of a business to gain entry. Items commonly stolen included: California lottery scratchers, cash registers, US currency, and cigarettes. The stolen California lottery scratchers were cashed in San Jose, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Stockton, and other jurisdictions.
The crime spree which began in September 2017, ended on December 20, 2017, when police identified the suspects. The suspects fled from police in the Fairfield area and crashed in Travis Air Force Base. The following five suspects were taken into custody and are being charged in Santa Clara County:
- Jared McEssy, 21, of San Jose.
- Alexander Castillo, 21, of San Jose.
- Alexander Rosiles, 19, of Stockton.
- Roque Soto Sierra, 19, of Stockton.
- Sergio Beltran Jr., 21, of Stockton.
A sawed-off shot gun was recovered inside the suspect vehicle along with stolen property from the burglaries.
Suspect McEssy pleaded guilty on January 3, 2018 to 32 commercial burglary counts and received a court offer of eight years.
Suspect Beltran Jr. is currently outstanding with a felony want for his arrest. A sixth suspect was identified as being part of the Lucky Lotto Bandits and is currently outstanding with a felony want for his arrest: Sergio Aguirre, 18, of San Jose.
The San Jose Police Department’s Burglary Unit worked closely on the investigation with Campbell PD, Santa Clara PD, Santa Clara SO, Sunnyvale DPS, the California Lottery, Fremont PD, and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.