New Charges for Accused in North County Home Invasions

Six suspects are facing additional charges in a series of home invasion robberies that left many North County residents on edge in January. 

All defendants are accused of entering homes between Jan. 23 and Feb. 11 in the series. In some incidents, no one was home, police said. However, in at least four homes, the group tied up residents, stole valuables and in some instances sexually assaulted residents, police said.

In a downtown courtroom Thursday, the defendants were charged with nine additional felonies, including counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, hot prowl residential burglary and residential robbery in concert, said San Diego County District Attorney (DA) spokeswoman Tanya Sierra.

The charges are connected to crimes that occurred on Jan. 23-24, Jan. 26 and Jan. 29. The additional counts stem from new victims coming forward, said Sierra. 

Stephen Gomez, 20; Thomas Smith Jr., 24; Aaron Rico III, 20; and Aaron Rico V, 17, are being held on a $1 million bail each. A judge ordered Robin Shawvner, 20, be held on $550,000. Victor Harvey, 20, is also facing charges as prosecutors say he may have acted as a getaway driver for the group. 

All entered not guilty pleas. 

The Rico’s are brothers, and though Aaron Rico V is a minor, he is being charged as an adult.

Gomez, Smith and the Rico’s are also charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, sex with a foreign object, assault during a first-degree burglary, robbery and burglary.

Shawvner also faces robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime charges.

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