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Suspected thieves captured after early morning residential burglary in East Redding

Mike Leyva                                    Marlin Pierson


Two suspected burglars were captured this morning after stealing from an unlocked residence while the victim took her child to school.


At approximately 8:00 a.m. this morning, Maria Rocha, 25 years of age of Redding, returned to her home in the 2300 block of Wilson Avenue in East Redding.  Rocha had just dropped her child off at school and didn’t lock her door due to her husband being home.


When Ms. Rocha returned, she noticed a suspicious 1996 Toyota Forerunner parked across the street with a male wearing a mask.  Ms. Rocha entered her home through the garage and noticed her front door was open.  Ms. Rocha yelled for her husband who was still asleep and  noticed items were removed from her home, leading her to believe the residence had just been burglarized.


Ms. Rocha discovered an Apple Watch was one of the items that had been stolen.  The watch is equipped with a GPS tracking device and Rocha noticed her Apple Watch was moving rapidly northbound toward Dana Drive from her home.


Officer Ellis arrived to assist the victims.  Ms. Rocha wasn’t able to adequately describe the vehicle she had seen but believed if she saw it again, she would be able to identity it.  As a result, Officer Ellis saw the watch appeared to be moving in the area of Walmart and then watched as the tracking device shut off.


Officer Ellis offered to transport the victim to Walmart in hopes of finding the vehicle.  Upon arrival, Ms. Rocha immediately saw the suspect vehicle parked in the parking lot.  Officer Ellis noticed two men walking away from the Toyota 4Runner and detained them.


The suspects were identified as Mike Leyva, 43 years of age of Redding, and Marlin Pierson, 40 years of age of Redding.  During Officer Ellis’ interview of the suspects, he noticed the Apple Watch was sticking out of Leyva’s back pocket.


Leyva and Pierson initially denied any involvement in the burglary.  Officer Ellis was able to catch the suspects in enough lies that Leyva and Pierson ultimately admitted to their parts in the theft from the Rocha’s home.


Leyva and Pierson were both booked at the Shasta County Jail for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Burglary.  Pierson was also on parole and was charged with the parole violation.  The watch was returned to the victim.  A stolen phone was not located and is still missing.