A home invasion robbery in Camarillo led investigators in three counties to identify four Los Angeles residents believed to be part of a crime ring responsible for more than two dozen residential burglaries in California and Nevada, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
The investigation began after the March 31 robbery on Modesto Avenue in Camarillo, where two men forced their way into the home and assaulted two homeowners in their 80s. The men fled without taking property, and were driven away by a woman, authorities said.
Homeowner Eddie Matsui was choked by one of the men, and his 85-year-old wife was punched and pushed down a flight of stairs, he said Tuesday.
In April, Ventura County sheriff’s investigators worked with counterparts in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties, as well in the Los Angeles Police Department, to identify their suspects as well as a fourth person believed to be part of the ring.
The group drove from Los Angeles in a leased luxury car to upscale areas, where they would select a home, find its home phone number and call to find out if anyone was inside, authorities said.
Between Dec. 25, 2014, and April 7, 15 Ventura County residents were victimized by the crew, Sheriff Jeff Dean said at a news conference.
Joy Williams, 27, and Michael Bishop, 24, were taken into custody May 6. About three weeks later, Bishop was arrested in his Ventura jail cell on suspicion on new charges after allegedly trying to force his cellmate to orally copulate him, and for allegedly “using fear to take his cellmate’s commissary.”
Bishop has an extensive criminal record and was being held on $1.54 million bail on suspicion of residential burglary, attempted robbery, street terrorism, first degree residential robbery, criminal threats and attempted forcible oral copulation.
Williams was being held in Santa Barbara County on suspicion of multiple counts of residential burglary.
Rodrick Brumfield, 29, was arrested May 15 after a standoff with authorities at his girlfriend’s home in Lancaster. He allegedly barricaded himself in the attic with two handguns and was forced out by an L.A. County SWAT team using chemical agents. The guns, authorities said, were stolen during a residential burglary in Henderson, Nevada.
Brumfield has an extensive criminal record that includes a 12-year prison sentence for assault with a deadly weapon, authorities said. He was being held on $1 million bail on suspicion of attempted residential burglary, street terrorism, and multiple counts of residential burglary.
The fourth person, Oussama Mimouni, 29, was arrested by LAPD on suspicion of residential burglary. He was not suspected of being at the Camarillo crime scene, but was believed to be the crew’s ringleader, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Mimouni and Williams were expected to be transferred to Ventura County custody to face charges there after their cases conclude in the respective counties where they are being prosecuted.