2 arrested, suspected of burglarizing house being fumigated: Gas mask found at suspect's residence

LEMON GROVE, Calif. - A search of a suspicious vehicle with gang members in it led sheriff's deputies to arrest two men for burglarizing a house that had been tented for fumigation, and the discovery of a gas mask, deputies said Sunday.

Deputies spotted two men in a parked vehicle at about 6:40 a.m. Saturday at Lemon Grove Park, 2271 Washington St., Sgt. Greg Hampton said.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen from a nearby home while it was tented for fumigation about two weeks ago.

Deputies arrested the two people in the vehicle, Sergio Perez, 21, and James St. Clair, 22, for possession of a stolen firearm, Hampton said. Deputies also determined that Perez was a documented gang member.

A search of both suspects' residences uncovered a man at St. Clair's residence with an outstanding felony warrant, who was also arrested, Hampton said. Deputies also found a gas mask at the residence.

"The gas mask would be a necessary tool when burglarizing a house being fumigated," Hampton said.

Deputies are now looking into whether the suspects are responsible for targeting two other Lemon Grove homes within the last couple of weeks. 10News did some digging and found two homes on Angelus Avenue were recently burglarized. It is unclear if St. Clair and Perez are linked.

Neighbors say the recent burglaries have them rattled.

"It is nerve-racking to make sure the doors are locked, to make sure the fence is locked, to make sure the gates are one, two, three all locked," said Lemon Grove resident Bev Quantrille. "It's hard to live that way, right on the edge."

Hampton said all three suspects were booked into county jail.

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