Police today announced the arrest of a fifth suspect in connection with a spate of follow-home robberies that occurred in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Glendale and Fontana, as well as the fatal shooting of a man near a Hollywood restaurant.
Detectives located and arrested Marquis Ford, 24, of Los Angeles, for his alleged involvement in the Nov. 23 shooting death of Jose Ruiz Gutierrez in Hollywood. Ford was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. The Ford case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Monday for filing consideration.
Gutierrez, 23, was waiting in a car outside Bossa Nova restaurant, in the 7100 block of Sunset Boulevard, at around 2 a.m. that day when a woman he was with stepped out and was accosted by a group of men who tried to rob her. Gutierrez, who was carrying a gun, got out of the car to intervene and the suspects allegedly shot him to death and fled. Authorities believe Ford was tied — with four others — to a rash of follow-home robberies that had plagued the city.
An LAPD task force on follow-home robberies, with assistance from an LAPD SWAT unit and Beverly Hills, Glendale and Fontana police, made four arrests on Dec. 21 in various locations in Los Angeles and Fontana. The suspects were Jayon Sanders, 21, Abraham Castillo, 20, Tyree Singleton, 20, and Joshua Saulsberry, 21. Sanders, Castilllo and Singleton have all been charged with murder, robbery and attempted robbery. Saulsberry is charged with robbery. Sanders is being held on $2.49 million bail, Castillo and Singleton on $2.05 million bail, and Saulsberry on $160,000 bail, according to the LAPD.
Detectives recovered a handgun, a replica handgun, more than $30,000 in cash, handbags, a Rolex watch, gang paraphernalia and two vehicles allegedly used in the crimes, police said. Hours after the Gutierrez murder, LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced that the department would create a task force to investigate “follow-home robberies,” which had increased in frequency in recent weeks. Moore said the department had identified 133 likely instances of such crimes. The heists involve robbers who follow people wearing high-end jewelry or have expensive vehicles or other belongings. Moore said Gutierrez was “coming to the aid of a female who was being attacked” when he was killed.
The Robbery Homicide Follow-Home Robbery Task Force included robbery homicide detectives and resources from the LAPD’s Gang Narcotics Division and Metropolitan Division. Moore added that if someone notices they’re being followed, they should not drive home and instead go to a police station and call 911. LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division detectives urged anyone with information regarding the Gutierrez homicide to call them at 213-486-6860 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.