Burglar picks the wrong North Valley store to rob

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An alleged gun thief picked the wrong gun store to rob in the North Valley. (KFSN)

An alleged gun thief picked the wrong gun store to rob in the North Valley. The owner of the store spent 12 years in the military and took down the suspect-- identified as Carlos Castillo-- and held him there until police arrived.

The owner of Mongrel Tactical said the safety of his employees and customers are top priority. So when someone came in Tuesday putting them in jeopardy, he was left with no choice but to swing into protective mode. After emptying the gun clip, Jessie Rodriguez showed the single stack 9 millimeter he used to take down a man who allegedly tried to steal from him Tuesday. "It was bound to happen, just the way he was."

Rodriguez said 20-year-old Castillo had been in his gun store several times before.

And each time he's had to ask him to leave. "He'd come in here loitering, asking weird questions, with no real business being here."

The owner tells me he was in this back room just doing some paperwork when he happened to look over at his monitor, where all the cameras are in this building, and saw the guy reaching over the counter. He decided to step up and rush out, and take matters into his own hands. "There was no words coming from him except for ok after I was holding him down at gunpoint, and I said don't move cops are coming," explained Rodriguez.

Rodriguez's employee, Jennifer Mata, was the one who called the cops. She said they arrived within 30 seconds with their guns drawn. "There was about 15 standing outside the door, when I opened the door relief for sure, yes."

A relief for the police department too, who said it's glad there is one less unregistered gun out on the streets. "A firearm in the wrong hands could be devastating. So we're really glad that we were able to recover it before it got in the wrong hands," said Cmdr. Ray Reyna, Los Banos Police Department.

Castillo, the alleged thief, was arrested and sent to jail. He faces a misdemeanor commercial burglary charge and is expected to appear in court.

Related Topics:
burglarygunsmerced countyLos Banos
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