Mountain View Voice

News - March 16, 2012

Crime briefs

Garcia gets 21 years

The man accused of the 2008 shooting and killing of Mountain View teen Jose Merales will be sentenced to 21 years in prison on May 3, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office.

On March 12, Hugo Garcia pleaded no contest to the charge of voluntary manslaughter with a gun enhancement, said Sean Webby, public information officer for the DA's office.

Merales was shot to death on Feb. 26, 2008, in the 100 block of Higdon Ave. He was 17 years old.

Garcia, a San Jose man, was arrested for the murder of Merales two weeks later.

House burglary

A safe containing an assortment of jewelry and more than $20,000 in cash was taken from a house in the 1600 block of Villa Street on March 12, police said.

Sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., someone forced open a rear door leading into a bedroom, according to Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View police. The home was in disarray and appeared to have been rummaged through, Wylie said in an email to the Voice.

The home had an alarm system, but it was not armed, Wylie said.

Investigators said they do not believe the crime is related to a March 9 burglary, when a safe containing more than $40,000 was taken from a Mountain View apartment.

$40K in cash taken

More than $40,000 in cash was stolen from an apartment in the 1800 block of Ednamary Way on March 9, police said.

According to Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie, a burglar (or burglars) broke a window in order to get into the ground-floor unit. The only thing that was taken was a small safe.

The exact amount of cash kept in the safe is unknown, Wylie wrote in an email to the Voice — "but it's safe to say it was over $40,000."

Police are "actively investigating" the case, said Wylie.

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