Men charged in home invasion
By Jack Stephens
Published in News on June 14, 2004 2:00 PM
Law-enforcement officers have charged two men with barging into a home Saturday night, tying up four people and taking two sport utility vehicles and other property.
A short time later, one of the SUVs with two men inside was found in Goldsboro, and the stolen property, worth about $50,000, was recovered. The second vehicle was found abandoned on N.C. 111 South.
"We got lucky," said Wayne County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Tony Morris, who investigated the case.
Sheriff's deputies said the home invasion had happened like this:
Ayla Eberst, 39, and Alexandra Doles, 19, were returning to their home in the 3300 block of U.S. 13 North at about 9 p.m. Saturday. When Ms. Eberst opened the back door, she was pulled inside along with Ms. Doles by a man with a semi-automatic pistol.
When the two women got inside, they found two more people -- Ramvaldo Nava, 21, and Yesenia Baltazar, 16, both of U.S. 13 North -- tied up with duct tape. The two residents were then tied up.
The robbers took Ms. Eberst's Mazda MPV and Nava's Ford Explorer. They also stole video-game equipment, a digital camera, two cell phones, jewelry, cash, a compact disc player and three CD cases with a total of 110 CDs. After the robbers fled, the victims freed themselves and called 911.
Goldsboro police were called about "suspicious activity in the 1900 block of North Berkeley Boulevard," sheriff's Sgt. Morris said. They were checking out the SUV and its occupants at about the time the home invasion was reported. Morris said police Officer Tim Collins called back and said he had found the vehicle and two suspects.
Then police got another call, Morris said, about suspicious activity in the Food Lion parking lot at 219 N.C. 111 South. By the time Officer Thomas Cook arrived, he recovered the stolen van, but the suspects had fled.
Police arrested Jose Hector Sierra, 24, of Legion Road, LaGrange, and Walter A. Ruiz, 22, of New Hope Road, LaGrange.
Each man was charged with four felony counts of first-degree kidnapping, armed robbery and second-degree burglary. Three counts of burglary are expected to be dropped, Morris said.
Sierra and Ruiz were placed in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of $360,000 secured bonds. Each was scheduled to have a first court appearance this week.
Capt. George Raecher attributed the quick arrests to outstanding teamwork between the two agencies.
Morris was assisted by patrol Sgt. Steve Mozingo, Cpl. Joe Smith and Deputies Eric Robinson and Carlo Talarico, and two other detectives, Sgt. Rick Farfour and Tom Flores.
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