A man who allegedly tried to hold up an armored vehicle at an Indio bank, then fired shots at a security guard prior to a police pursuit, must stand trial for attempted murder and attempted robbery, a judge ruled Friday.

Homero Palomino Ontiveros, 33, of Tulare, is accused in the Feb. 7, 2018 noontime attempted robbery of a Brinks truck outside the Wells Fargo bank branch near Highway 111 and Monroe Street .

Ontiveros, who was wanted for a series of similar armed robberies in Central California and Nebraska, allegedly demanded money from the guard, then exchanged several shots with the guard, none of which struck either man.

Ontiveros and his accomplice, Justin Guerrero, 27, of Delano, allegedly fled in an SUV without getting any cash, triggering a pursuit that led into a Coachella mobile home park, where Guerrero took his own life and Ontiveros was taken into custody.

In addition to the alleged attempted Indio hold-up, Ontiveros is suspected of taking part in a string of armed robberies at businesses throughout Central California and Nebraska.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Ontiveros and others were implicated in 14 armed robberies over the course of 15 months, with more than $250,000 taken in those crimes.

“Each robbery was the same,” according to a statement released by the Tulare sheriff. Three to four armed suspects “entered the business wearing masks and gloves. In an organized, methodical and well-planned manner, they tactically cleared the store with assault rifles and pistols out, scanning for any patrons or owners.”

Money was taken from the businesses, as well as personal property from bystanders. The suspects never physically assaulted their victims, who numbered 19 in Tulare County alone, where Ontiveros and others are accused in a dozen armed robberies, according to the Tulare County sheriff.

At least six of Ontiveros’ alleged accomplices in that spree were arrested in 2017.

Ontiveros also has an outstanding arrest warrant for robbery and conspiracy out of Dodge County, Nebraska, where he’s accused of taking part in an armed robbery in Fremont and the attempted burglary and theft of an ATM elsewhere in the county.

Following his Friday preliminary hearing, Ontiveros will return to an Indio courtroom Aug. 16 for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment.

He continues to be held without bail, due to the potentially felonious source of any bail funds in light of the alleged out-of-county robberies.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.