by Cindy Summers
Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Robbery & Assualt with Deadly Weapon Arrest
On December 31 at 1:30pm, the Ventura Police Command Center received a 911 call of a possible stabbing that had just occurred at the Family Discount Store, at 107 W. Main Street. Officers, along with Ventura City Fire and AMR personnel responded to the scene and located two stabbing victims. The first victim, a female employee of the store, had sustained a small laceration to her face and hand. The second victim, a male passerby, was found to be suffering from non-life threatening stab wounds to the neck and upper torso.
During the investigation, officers learned the suspect, later identified as 29 year old Ventura resident Gilbert Ortiz, had entered the store and began to select merchandise from behind the front counter. The female clerk confronted Ortiz and asked him to leave the store. Ortiz produced a knife and lunged over the counter at the clerk, cutting her on the face and hand. A male passerby witnessed this act and confronted Ortiz who proceeded to stab him in the neck and torso.
A security guard, assigned to the surrounding shopping center, witnessed this crime and followed Ortiz as he fled out of the store on foot. Ortiz turned on the security guard, brandished the knife and threatened to harm the guard. Fearing for his safety, the security guard discontinued his pursuit.
Officers were able to obtain security footage of the crime and recognized Ortiz as the suspect. Officers located Ortiz in front of a residence in the 300 Block of Olive Street a short time later and took him into custody without incident.
Identity Theft and Grand Theft Arrest
On December 21, 2017 the victim was at the Ventura City Hall to conduct some business. When he left he inadvertently forgot his backpack which contained a laptop computer, personal documents, and credit cards on a counter. When the victim realized this, he returned to city hall but found that his backpack had been taken.
Ventura Street Crimes Detectives reviewed video surveillance from city hall as well as a gas station where the suspect used the victim’s credit cards.
Detectives recognized the suspect as 49 year old Ventura resident Susan Plechner who is currently on probation for narcotic related offenses.
On January 3 at 2:30pm, Street Crimes Unit detectives located Plechner at a residence in Santa Paula. She then led the detectives to the whereabouts of the stolen backpack she had hidden in her garage on North Bank Dr.
Bicycle Theft Sting Operation Arrest
On January 5 at 3pm, Detectives from the Ventura Police Departments Street Crimes Unit conducted a bike theft sting at the Von’s Shopping Center at 2764 E. Thompson, due to the fact several bike thefts have occurred in the area.
After a bait bike was left in the area, a known narcotics and property crimes offender, 41 year old Ventura resident Jason “Hornz” Garner, rode up to the area on his bike, which was later believed to be stolen as well. Garner waited until customers in the area had passed, then stole the bike and attempted to flee through the parking lot, but was apprehended after a short pursuit. Garner was then taken into custody without further incident and booked into the Ventura County Jail.
Due to an increase in bicycle thefts, the Ventura Police Department is asking the public to register their bicycles after purchase. For more information, visit http://cityofventura.ca.gov or our Facebook page.
On December 29, at approximately 7pm, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a call of shooting victim in the parking of the Northbank Plaza in the 2800 block of Johnson Dr. Patrol officers, along with Ventura City Fire and AMR personnel, responded to the call and found a 25- year-old male victim suffering from a life threatening gunshot wound to his torso. He was treated at the scene by Ventura City Fire personnel, and immediately transported to VCMC. The suspect was last seen by witnesses fleeing the scene westbound on foot.
During the investigation, detectives spoke to witnesses who described a verbal altercation between the victim and suspect just before the shooting. Based on witness statements and security camera video obtained by Ventura PD Detectives, the suspect was identified as 21 year old Santa Paula resident Josue Rizo.
On January 3rd, 2018, an arrest warrant was issued for Rizo for attempted murder. On January 4th, 2018, LAPD patrol officers located Rizo inside a vehicle in the 9100 block of Sharp Avenue in Arleta, California, and took him into custody. A firearm believed to be used in the crime was recovered during the arrest.