A 22-year-old man wanted in connection with a violent home invasion robbery in Santa Cruz last month turned himself into police on Monday morning, police said. Esteban Lopez, of Santa Cruz, is one of two suspects who were sought in connection to a home invasion robbery that occurred in the 500 block of Poplar Avenue on Feb. 20, police said.
At about 7:15 a.m. on Monday, Lopez, who had a $250,000 warrant for his arrest for robbery, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, surrendered to the Santa Cruz Police Department at 155 Center St. Lopez, a confirmed “Beach Flats” Sureno gang member with an extensive history of law enforcement contact, was taken into custody and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for the $250,000 warrant.
In the weeks following the robbery, Lopez was not seen at his home, work or other haunts, according to police. The victims in the home invasion robbery were awakened in the early hours of Feb. 20 by two masked men who demanded cash, Santa Cruz police Deputy Chief Steve Clark said. One of the suspects held a screwdriver, the other held a decorative sword taken from inside the home, Clark said.
Both suspects demanded cash and attempted to bind the couple with old and brittle duct tape they found inside the home, Clark said. They then resorted to tying the couple up with an electrical cord, Clark said. After the two intruders learned there were children in the home, they allegedly threatened to harm them, police said.
At that point, the adult residents freed themselves and fought with the suspects for some time before one of the children called 911 at about 4:25 a.m., police said. The residents were able to hold down one suspect in their front yard until officers arrived, but Lopez escaped with some valuables, Clark said. Cuactemoc Xilonzochilt-Zamora, 28, of Santa Cruz, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of robbery, burglary, false imprisonment, possession of methamphetamine and assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked him into the Santa Cruz County Jail.
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