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Police Arrest Three Chain Snatchers Saturday

After a foot pursuit of one suspect through a Latham apartment complex, cops find necklace in shoe.

Three suspects have been arrested for allegedly snatching a gold necklace from the neck of a 57-year-old woman as she walked along Rengstorff on Satuday afternoon, police officials reported today.

The also charged one of the three suspects, Antonio Sotelo-Lozano, 18, with an additional count of robbery for a prior incident in July.

According to MVPD Spokeswoman Liz Wylie, on Aug. 6 the victim called the MVPD at 4:44 p.m., 10 minutes after the incident, and told the officer that the suspect got into the back of a green Nissan Quest, which drove away.

While the victim spoke to the officer, the van drove by, stopped at the intersection of Latham Street and Escuela Avenue, and Sotelo-Lozano jumped out and fled on foot.

Wylie explained that officers took the other two suspects, Alexander Avalos and Miguel Zamora both 19-year-olds, under custody without incident. 

Others officers pursued Sotelo-Lozano into 1970 Latham St. where residents of one apartment told the MVPD that the suspect had locked himself in their bathroom. Police service dog Tino helped locate the suspect and who got taken into custody. Sotelo-Lozano had the victim's necklace in his shoe. The victim positively identified him.

"The MVPD greatly appreciated the assistance of the residents," Wylie said. "It is not uncommon for community members to feel fearful of reporting crimes to police. It is because of the brave actions of these community members that the main suspect was taken into custody safely and before any other people could become victims."

The arrest of Sotelo-Lozano may have also helped solve a previous crime.

According to Wylie, he fit the description of a suspect in a previous robbery that occurred on July 30 on Villa Street. During that incident, Sotelo-Lozano allegedly ripped a gold necklace from the neck of another female victim before he hopped into a drak gray pickup truck and fled.

An East Palo Alto resident, Sotelo-Lozano has been charged with two counts of robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of resisting or delaying an officer in the course of his/her duties.

Avalos, also from East Palo Alto, received a charge for robbery, one for conspiracy to commit robbery and also for violating the terms of his probation, which he's on in Santa Clara County for burglary.

Zamora got one count of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.  He is also from East Palo Alto.

The MVPD wants victims of similar robberies to come forward or who have any information about this robbery. People may call anonymously at 650-903-6344.

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