Tipster helps solve Fresno County home invasion robberies

FRESNO, Calif.

Detectives say 10 men forced their way into homes in Atwater, Clovis, Selma, and Kerman -- and threatened the lives of everyone inside.

The suspected mastermind is in jail. He is Daniel Rivas of Fresno. Investigators say he would personally scout out upscale homes to target. Investigators say all of the suspects are gang members. Nine of them are being brought in from Arizona right now. Most traveled from the Phoenix area to the Central Valley to terrorize a handful of families.

A 5-year-old is still recovering from the frightening home invasion she witnessed close to two months ago. She was at home with her grandparents when the robbers forced her to show them around the house.

Her mother is relieved but still curious about one lingering question. She doesn't want to show her face because she's still worried about retaliation.

"The main thing we wanted to know is how and why they targeted us. That's what we wanted to know that would be the true return."

It took several law enforcement agencies to track down the suspects. All but one lived in the Phoenix Arizona area. Officers searched their homes and found guns, money, jewelry, gang clothes and even some shoes that were likely to have been worn during the home invasions.

Sheriff Mims said, "In these home invasion robberies we had shoe tracks. And that's why we're showing the shoes here today is because they do match the shoe tracks we had at the scenes of the crimes."

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says the group was mainly after jewelry and gold. They cashed in valuables almost immediately after the invasions to get quick cash. Investigators say the robbers sought out strangers and in broad daylight busted down their door.

"These people were on a mission. They were on a mission to take what they wanted from people who they thought had what they wanted."

The sheriff wanted to thank the anonymous person who saw those Arizona plates and called in the tip. That phone call made the difference in this case. Of the 10 under arrest, two are juveniles.

The district attorney says the men are facing 60 years to life in prison for these combined crimes.

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