New Details in North County Home Invasions

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NBC 7

New details were released Thursday involving a series of home invasion robberies that left residents of the North County on edge earlier this month.

San Diego Police say they have arrested a group of people who entered homes through a side door at night between Jan. 31 and Feb. 11. In some incidents, no one was home. However, in at least four homes the group tied up residents, stole valuables and in some instances sexually assaulted residents, police said.

Five defendants accused in the crimes appeared in a downtown courtroom to face additional robbery and burglary charges connected to incidents in the Sabre Springs and Carmel Mountain Ranch area on Feb. 11. Judge Jay Bloom ordered NBC 7 to tilize the suspects' faces.

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.

In addition, a sixth defendant was charged in the crime spree. Prosecutors claim Victor Harvey, 20, may have acted as a getaway driver for the group.

All entered not guilty pleas. The next court hearing was scheduled for March 3. A preliminary hearing date was scheduled for March 9.

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

According to the SDUSD spokeswoman, Smith was employed with the school district from July 2012 to September 2013, working as a workability trainee in career and translation services.

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

Shawvner faces robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime charges.

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