A detectives’ hunch that a man stole a gun from a fumigated house led them to discover a gas mask at that suspect’s home.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department started its investigation when deputies contacted Sergio Perez, 20, and James St. Clair, 22, in a parked vehicle Saturday morning in Lemon Grove.
Both men were told to step out of their car, and when deputies searched the vehicle, they found a loaded handgun, sheriff’s officials say.
Investigators checked the gun and discovered it had been stolen from a nearby home about two weeks ago.
At that time, the house had been tented for fumigation.
Deputies arrested Perez -- who they say is a documented gang member – and St. Clair.
During their follow-up investigation, detectives served a search warrant to St. Clair’s home. There, they found a gas mask, which would be necessary when burglarizing a fumigated house, sheriff’s officials say.
They also arrested another suspect at the home for an outstanding felony warrant.
Perez was booked into jail on a stalking charge, while St. Clair was booked on charges of receiving known stolen property more than $400 and not being the registered owner of the handgun.