A 38-year-old probationer accused of burglarizing an Eastvale hardware store, stealing products later used to make a homemade pistol, failed to appear for his arraignment Thursday in Riverside, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.
Rolando Antonio Gutierres of Fontana was arrested in April following a weeks-long Riverside County sheriff’s investigation. He is charged with commercial burglary and probation violations.
His co-defendant, 32-year-old Vincent T. Poncinie of Jurupa Valley, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony burglary and was sentenced to a year in jail and two years probation.
Gutierres was slated to be arraigned Thursday before Superior Court Judge David Gunn, but when his case was called at the Riverside Hall of Justice, the defendant was nowhere to be found. Gunn signed a bench warrant for his arrest and revoked his $10,000 bond.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ernie Esquibel, the 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, stealing $15,000 in DeWalt power tools, then fled in a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban.
Detectives used video security surveillance tape to pursue leads in the case, ultimately leading them to Gutierres and Poncinie, according to the sergeant.
Poncinie was arrested without incident three days later at a Jurupa Valley motel, where investigators seized a “ghost gun” composed of parts from the tools taken during the theft, Esquibel said.
Roughly three weeks later, 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.
Poncinie had a prior conviction for theft.
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