One man was taken into custody on suspicion of committing a home invasion Monday night at a Delhi residence, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Deputies believed the suspects targeted the residence because of marijuana found inside the home.
The incident was reported shortly after 10 p.m. in the area of Palm Street and Cassidy Court, according to Deputy Delray Shelton.
Witnesses reported that a group of people in black ski masks entered the residence. Deputies arrived and heard one gunshot. The suspects fled on foot after law enforcement arrived, but deputies successfully located Jaime Alejandro Blancas, 27, across the street from the residence.
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Deputies found the vehicle they believed the suspects used, with a .40-caliber gun under its dashboard. In addition, Shelton said the suspect had a receipt for tactical gear purchased at a Valley store. Two pounds of pot were found in the home, Shelton said.
Sheriff Mark Pazin said the case is under investigation and deputies are looking into whether the home’s occupants will be charged with pot possession. Pazin called the incident another example of the dangers posed by illegal marijuana.
“These crooks are out surveying Merced County to see who has illegal marijuana grows. They also realize that the finished product is now ready to be sold for illegal purposes. So they are just scurrying around, looking for some house to go ahead and rip off, and in this case they found one,” Pazin said.
The other robbers remain at large, Shelton said.
Blancas was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, first degree robbery and felony possession of a firearm. He was released after posting $205,000 bail.