Raid nets 8 robbery suspects

FRESNO — A home-invasion crew operating in California and Arizona and suspected in five armed incidents in the central San Joaquin Valley is under arrest after a raid in Phoenix, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said Friday.

The eight men and two juveniles are accused of randomly targeting affluent homeowners in Fresno and Merced counties. Mims was joined at a news conference by Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin, who called the gang a "pack of jackals," and Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan. The gang is accused of taking gold and other valuables as they held residents of mostly rural areas at gunpoint.

Unlike many home invasions, which take place because of a connection between the victims and the criminals, Mims said the gang scouted the two counties looking for homes where they might find cash and valuables, then kicking in doors in violent attacks.

A tip to CrimeStoppers led to the arrests.

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