Train thieves arrested in Hesperia with $25K worth of stolen merchandise

HESPERIA, Calif. ( — A couple of Inland Empire residents were arrested after they were caught with stolen merchandise from a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train in Hesperia.

On Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 12:24 pm, deputies from the Victor Valley Station received a call of suspects stealing merchandise from a cargo container of a stopped train in the area of State Highway 138 and Summit Valley Road in the County Area of Hesperia.

The reporting party stated the suspects were last seen driving west on Ranchero Road in a red truck with a large amount of merchandise in cardboard boxes in the back. Deputy J. Ballinger located the truck on Ranchero Road, near Escondido Avenue, and conducted a traffic stop.

According to a sheriff’s news release, Thirty-three boxes of stolen cell phone accessories were in the back of the truck. The total estimated value of the merchandise was over $25,000.

Special Agents from BNSF Railroad responded to assume the burglary investigation.

Deputies searching the vehicle located an unregistered, loaded semi-automatic handgun wrapped in a beanie and hidden under the passenger seat. Additionally, approximately two grams of methamphetamine were also located inside the vehicle. 

The driver of the vehicle, 29-year-old Jose Hernandez-Garcia, a resident of Fontana, and passenger, 35-year-old Luis Mendez, a resident of Ontario, were both arrested without incident and booked at High Desert Detention Center. 

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact J. Ballinger, at Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station 760-552-6800. Callers can remain anonymous and contact We-Tip at 800-78CRIME (27463) or

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