UPDATED Police Standoff Locks Down Neighborhood, Ends Peacefully

Teenage gang members suspected of stealing guns arrested.

Update 4:30 p.m. Thursday: A teenage burglary suspect ran into a stranger's apartment, motioned like he had a gun and barricaded himself in a room to escape sheriff's deputies Thursday afternoon in Watsonville, according to the Sheriff's Office.

But the 17-year-old didn't take any of the three residents hostage. They were able to get out unhurt and the young man eventually surrendered peacefully, according to Deputy April Skalland. 

He and two other teens, ages 17 and 14, were arrested in connection with a gang-related burglary Wednesday at a rural Watsonville home where guns and electronics were stolen, Skalland said.

Deputies went to the Sunny Meadows apartment complex on Ross Avenue in Watsonville on Thursday afternoon as part of the burglary investigation. That's where they encountered the three teens. Skalland declined to say if any of the teens lived in the complex, though she did say they are Watsonville residents.

The boys ran but two were taken into custody without incident around 2:25 p.m. The third got away, inciting the brief police standoff. 

"When I was walking home a lot of police officers were surrounding the building," said Roseeva Smith, a student who lives in the area. "This kid... he ran into this couple's home. The couple ran out pretty much screaming at the officers 'He's in my house! He's in my house!"

There was a massive police response to the Airport Boulevard-area apartments. Watsonville police used the  to warn residents away from the neighborhood and two nearby schools— and —were put on lockdown.

The standoff lasted about 30 minutes. No shots were fired.

At one point, a police dog went into the building to find the teen. He gave up within the hour and walked out, according to Smith. She knew the teen involved in the standoff. During an interview, she identified him by name.

"They told him back up slowly, he's backing up slowly and he told them 'the gun is in the bathtub,'" Smith said.

After, deputies took several guns from a neighboring apartment. Skalland said those guns—mostly shotguns—were seized as part of the investigation but didn't elaborate.

Smith said she saw at least five guns, including three with "special bullets."

The teens, whose names were not released because of their ages, were isolated in police cruisers and will be booked into Juvenile Hall in Felton.

 Skalland said deputies are investigating if the teens may be linked to some of those crimes.

Original story, 3:30 p.m. Thursday: Three young men were arrested and several guns seized following a police standoff in the Sunny Meadows apartment complex Thursday afternoon, authorities reported.

The standoff started around 2:25 p.m. when sheriff's deputies were working an investigation at the Ross Avenue complex. Watsonville police responded to back up the deputies. They shut down the Airport Boulevard-area neighborhood.

The three were arrested without injury around 3 p.m.


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