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Arrests made in murder case
by Tribune Staff
May 14, 2011 | 695 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — After a comprehensive investigation by detectives from the Reno Police Department, in conjunction with detectives from the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, four defendants have been charged in the murder of Steven Gale on the morning of May 9 on California Avenue. In addition, the defendants were charged with several other robberies and related crimes in Carson City and Reno. 

This series of crimes started on the evening of May 8 with the defendants driving around looking for victims walking along roadways to rob of their valuables. At about 9:30 p.m., they encountered the first victim in the area of Virginia Lake and proceeded to take his personal belongings.

From there, they are believed to have committed a robbery of a man in the Peckham Lane area. This man was robbed of a bottle of beer and an empty wallet. This victim has not come forward yet and police would like to talk with him.

The defendants then traveled to Carson City where they committed two additional robberies. One was along a busy roadway near Roop Street, and the other in a quiet residential neighborhood on Peters Avenue. While in Carson City they attempted to rob another man walking along Carson Street. When this victim took off running, one of the defendants deliberately fired an errant shot at him.

The defendants then returned to Reno and continued their crime spree.  At about 12:35 a.m. on May 9, they waited out of sight for Steven Gale and his two associates to walk by. As the victims walked by, one of the suspects tried to steal the female victim’s purse. A struggle ensued over the purse and the two male victims went to her aid. During this struggle, one of the other defendants discharged a single round from a handgun, fatally wounding Gale.

The handgun used in this murder has not been recovered. Detectives have information it may have been given to another individual after the crime. They are asking for that person to voluntarily come forward prior to detectives locating him and possibly charging him for offenses related to this crime.

The loss from these robberies has not all been recovered. Detectives are asking anyone who may have found a handgun, backpack, cellular telephones or empty wallets to please contact their local law enforcement agency and notify either the Reno Police Department or the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.

The 13-year-old defendant, Jose Cruz, has been transferred to the Washoe County Jail due to this being a murder charge.

Those arrested are:

• Jacob Sanchez, 21, Reno resident

• Luis Sanchez, 20, Reno resident

• Aurora Rodriguez-Perez, 22, Reno resident 

• Jose Cruz, 13, Reno resident 

Sanchez, Rodriguez-Perez and Cruz were charged with felony murder with the use of a deadly weapon, three counts of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery. Sanchez was charged with open murder with the use of a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery.

All are being held without bail. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the Reno Police Department Robbery/Homicide Unit at 334-2188 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or remain anonymous by calling Secret Witness at 322-4900 at any time.  
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