Two men alleged to be affiliated with gangs are in custody and stand accused of an astonishing 38 counts of auto burglary, and they’re both now in custody at the Santa Clara County Jail.
A fairly anodyne introductory sentence in a Bay City News story about a pair of accused car thieves understates the absolutely bonkers nature of this alleged theft ring. “Two gang members have been arrested in connection with a series of auto burglaries throughout the Bay Area, according to a spokesperson for the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety,” the story begins.
The “gang members" accusation comes from law enforcement officials who believe that both suspects are affiliated with something called the Ghost Town Gang. But the “series of auto burglaries” is putting it charitably. The suspects, Oakland men James Barker (33 years old) and Exrill Wilson (39 years old) were arrested on Thursday, and Bay City News notes that “Warrants had been obtained for both for 38 counts of auto burglary.”
And it’s quite possible there’s even more where that came from. According to the announcement above from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, “Detectives will continue to investigate to determine Wilson and Barker’s involvement in additional auto-burglaries in Sunnyvale and surrounding cities.”
So while the two men live in Oakland, many of these alleged burglaries occurred in Santa Clara County. As Bay City News describes, “On Sept. 8, an auto burglary occurred at the Faultline Brewing Co., 1235 Oakmead Pkwy. in Sunnyvale. The suspect vehicle was described as a black BMW and was later determined to be a rental vehicle.”
A four-week investigation by the Sunnyvale police connected that same rented black BMW to a giant trove of car thefts. Both Barker and Wilson are now in custody at the Santa Clara County Jail, though their court date and possible bail information is not immediately available on the County of Santa Clara website.
Photo: Jilbert Ebrahimi