OXNARD : 4 Held in Theft of Rifle, Crossbow

Oxnard police arrested four Santa Paula men early Monday morning on suspicion of stealing a high-powered rifle and crossbow from an Oxnard man's home, police said.

The four suspected gang members--Miguel Angel Molina, 18; Alexander Ruben Medrano, 20; Manilo Canuto Escamilla, 18, and Samuel Minero, 19--are in Ventura County Jail on $50,000 bail each, awaiting arraignment for robbery, police said.

The four men were at a party early Monday morning on Dupont Street in Oxnard when they visited an acquaintance at his San Benito Street home, police said.

Sean Koen, 19, was playing dominoes with friends when the four men asked to see his rifle and crossbow. When Koen obliged, they grabbed the weapons and pointed the unloaded rifle and loaded crossbow at Koen, police said. The suspects told him he had been "ganked"--snookered by gang members--and fled in a yellow Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Koen, carrying a meat cleaver and a butcher knife, ran after the car, but to no avail, police said.

Koen, who doesn't own a phone, went to use a pay phone at a nearby Circle K store. He saw the Cadillac leaving the parking lot and dispatched a friend on a motorcycle to chase it down Channel Islands Boulevard and then called Oxnard police. Santa Paula police were also notified of the robbery and joined the search for the suspects.

The car was eventually located behind the Santa Paula police station, near one suspect's home, police said.

The suspects were detained by Santa Paula police and arrested by Oxnard police, but the weapons have not been recovered, police said.

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