Sheriff's vehicles, early morning

Irrigator file photo

The security guard at a legal marijuana facility on Fig Avenue spotted about a dozen people on the facility’s surveillance system and called police early this morning (Sunday).

Multiple law enforcement units, including the SWAT team, responded to the call, which came in around 1:30 a.m. When deputies arrived, “everyone ran in different directions,” the Sheriff Watch Commander said.

Sgt. Clayton said at the scene that up to 12 people, armed and masked, had been seen on the facility’s surveillance system. “The security guard was smart,” he said, and watched them on the cameras until law enforcement arrived.

While original reports indicated five, Clayton confirmed that three suspects have been detained, and a number of firearms were seized. Deputies spent the rest of the night searching for the suspects over a wide area, much of which is orchards. They also searched the facility itself, including a number of outbuildings.

Fire Chief Jon Schali, who lives in the area, said he woke up to “red and blue lights” in his front yard at about 2 a.m. He went to find out what was going on, and was advised to shelter in place, he said.

“We saw shadows of officers coming out of the orchard into the street,” Schali said, “there was officers everywhere. My dogs were going crazy all night," because there were so many people around, he said.

Around 8 a.m., deputies searched his yard, as well as his neighbor’s, and the surrounding orchard. It looked like they were leaving the area, he said, when “a man comes walking up to my door, very suspicious,” adding that he “did not fit the area.” He asked the man to get on the ground. The man said his car had broken down and he needed a tow.

“I didn’t know what had taken place; didn’t know if he was armed or unarmed,” Schali said, “my whole goal was to make sure my family stayed safe.”

A tow truck showed up, and the man “decided to take off,” Schali said, and got into it. The man got out of the tow truck on his own and was detained, when some of the officers arrived back on the scene, he said.

No one was injured in the incident.

Police believe this attempted robbery may be linked to similar thefts and attempted thefts in the area, Sgt. Clayton said, but nothing has been confirmed as yet.

No further details on the incident are available at this time.

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