Four arrested in series of burglaries in Gustine

Manual Viera
Manual Viera

Two Gustine teens and two adults were arrested in connection to a string of burglaries in the Gustine area, according to the Merced County Sheriff's Department.

Manual Viera, 20, and Roberto Martinez, 32, along with the two teens, were arrested after the sheriff's office began investigating a series of burglaries that began earlier this month. The investigation started Dec. 4 when the sheriff's department took a report in the 10000 block of Highway 33 in Gustine, where electronics, flat-screen televisions, a Wii gaming console and other items were stolen. A week later, a home in the 10000 block of Witworth Road was also burglarized. The stolen items included surveillance equipment, a flat-screen TV and computer equipment. The investigation led Det. Dustin Witt to a home in the 29000 block of Cottonwood Road, where he found Viera and Martinez. Inside the home, Witt found nearly all of the stolen property from the two burglaries.

The sheriff's department said Witt confirmed both Martinez and Viera were at both burglaries, while the two teens were present at the first burglary. Additionally, Viera admitted to a third burglary on Luis Street in Santa Nella, the sheriff's department said.

Viera remains in custody on three counts of burglary, two counts of possession of stolen property and twocounts of conspiracy to commit a crime with $130,000 bail. Martinez remains on $125,000 bail on two countsof burglary, two counts of possession of stolen property and two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime. The17-year-old was booked for burglary, possession of stolen property and being a convicted felon in possession ofammunition and remains in Juvenile Hall without bail. The 16-year-old was arrested and released to his parents on charges of burglary.

-- Posted by Brandon Bowers