CERRITOS - Two men were arrested last week after breaking into a Cerritos home with a woman and her two children hiding inside.Sheriff's deputies responded to the 17200 block of Morningrain Ave. at 11:11 a.m. on Jan. 2. The homeowner was with her two children when she heard a loud knocking on the door, prosecutors said. She peered through the window and allegedly saw one of the suspects, 23-year-old Devonte Smith, at her doorstep. The woman took her two children to a bedroom, locked the door and called police. While she was on the phone with authorities, the second suspect, 25-year-old Quintin Moreland, allegedly kicked in the back door. The two suspects fled in a Ford F-150 pickup as sheriff's deputies arrived. "The suspect vehicle drove toward the deputies at a high rate of speed and collided into a curb as they attempted to go around the patrol cars, which caused the vehicle to become disabled," authorities said. "A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects knocked on the front door of the victim's residence," sheriff's officials said in a statement. "The victim did not respond to their knock on the door, giving the suspects the impression that no one was home. "At least one of the suspects gained entry into the attached garage by forcing his way into the garage door, then forcing his way into a second doorway which gave him access to the home. The suspect fled the location before encountering the victims who were hiding inside." Both suspects have previous convictions: Smith for assault with a firearm and Moreland for receiving stolen property and evading an officer. Smith and Moreland remain in custody. Bail for Smith was recommended at $150,00 and $60,000 for Moreland. If convicted, Smith faces a minimum of 17 years in prison, while Moreland could face a maximum of seven years in prison.
********** Published: Jan. 9, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 39