A 38-year-old probationer accused of burglarizing an Eastvale hardware store and stealing products later used to make a homemade pistol made his initial court appearance Monday before a Riverside County Superior Court judge.
Rolando Antonio Gutierres of Fontana, who was arrested last Wednesday following a Riverside County sheriff’s investigation that began in March, is charged with commercial burglary and probation violations.
He appeared before Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who appointed him a public defender and scheduled his arraignment for Aug. 21 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The defendant is being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
Gutierres’ co-defendant, 32-year-old Vincent Tylor Poncinie of Jurupa Valley, is also charged with felony offenses. He is out of custody on his own recognizance and is slated to make his first court appearance on Friday at the downtown Riverside courthouse, which is holding urgent hearings only, with limited public access due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ernie Esquibel, the alleged break-in occurred on the morning of March 23 at an outlet in the 3700 block of Milliken Avenue, near Riverside Drive, just west of Interstate 15.
Esquibel alleged that the defendants forced their way onto the property, stole $15,000 in DeWalt power tools, then fled n a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban.
Detectives relied on video security surveillance tape to pursue leads in the case, ultimately identifying Gutierres and Poncinie as the alleged perpetrators, according to the sergeant.
Poncinie was located and arrested without incident three days later at a Jurupa Valley motel, where investigators allegedly seized a “ghost gun” composed of parts from the tools taken during the theft, Esquibel said.
The defendant was booked into jail but released a short time later pending the filing of criminal charges.
Last Wednesday, detectives spotted Gutierres walking in the 9800 block of Sierra Avenue in Fontana. Esquibel said the convicted felon allegedly tried to run but was quickly apprehended.
According to court records, he has a prior conviction for distribution and sale of illegal drugs. His mandatory supervision sentence for that offense was due to expire in August.
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