WINTON, Calif. (KFSN) --In the North Valley a several hour long standoff leads to three arrests. The Merced County Sheriff's Department said three men, two out of Southern California and one out of Winton, could be charged with felony possession of firearms and stolen property
Neighbors watched on for hours before Merced County deputies arrested 27-year-old Jonathan Cardona from Los Angeles, along with 27-year-old Marco Salcido out of Blythe and 31-year old Fabian Sanchez Rodriguez.
"There were a lot of people out there that could have been potential victims," said Sheriff Vern Warnke, Merced County Sheriff.
Sheriff Warnke said it started when deputies spotted a 2016 Jeep completely covered in spray paint and no plates on the vehicle. When they pulled into an apartment on Cottage Street in Winton several ran out of the vehicle and into some apartments. Warnke said deputies secured the apartment where the driver ran into but said the situation escalated when one person spoke up.
"SWAT arrived because there was one lady in the apartment when they left the apartment knew one of the suspects by name and then told us that she had seen a gun," said Sheriff Warnke.
One of the men surrendered hours later, the SWAT team made their way into the apartment and found two of the men in the attic. Sheriff Warnke said two firearms were found in the toilet tank.
"They disarmed the gun before they put it in the toilet. That tells me when they came into there they were fully armed and ready to be used."
Sheriff Warnke said deputies ran the vehicle's VIN. Long beach police tell us the Jeep was also involved in a robbery case back in August. One neighbor we spoke with said they were told by police to stay inside their homes, and saw their street was just covered with police. Another said she wasn't home, but heard about the incident on Facebook.
"It's crazy-- it's crazy. That's all I can say," said Maiyra Rodriguez, neighbor.
All three suspects are in the county jail and are waiting to be questioned by Long Beach police about their connection to the robbery crime.