MURRIETA – Murrieta Police officers arrested two subjects after they allegedly stole over $700 from a Home Depot in Murrieta. One of the subjects reportedly hit and knocked down a female employee while fleeing the location.
On Feb. 22, Murrieta Police Dispatch received a call at about 7:30 p.m., from the Home Depot located on Madison Avenue. The 911 call was about an adult male that had just fled the store with several items he did not pay for.
The employee was able to provide a vehicle description, license plate and direction of travel to the dispatcher who then relayed that information to patrol officers.
After receiving the call, some officers began searching the area for the vehicle based on the description provided by the victim and witnesses. Additional officers responded to the Home Depot to interview the employee who witnessed the crime.
During their investigation, officers learned that the suspect, later identified as Jason Zuck, was confronted by an unidentified female store employee as he attempted to flee with the stolen items. Zuck refused to return the items and then hit the employee with his body knocking her down as he ran out the door into a waiting vehicle.
While officers interviewed the victim, a Murrieta K9 Officer spotted the vehicle entering the northbound I-215 freeway and conducted a traffic stop.
Officers conducted a records check on both subjects, identified as Jason Zuck, 33, of Homeland and Eric Raymond Bianco, 21, of Hemet. Officers learned Zuck was on PRCS (Post Community Supervision) probation for burglary and both subjects had extensive criminal histories.
A search of the vehicle subsequent to the terms of Zuck’s probation was conducted and items reported as stolen from Home Depot were located inside the vehicle.
The employee who was allegedly hit and knocked down by Zuck was able to positively identify him as the subject who had hit her as he fled.
In a press release, Lieutenant Tony Conrad wrote, “It should be noted that Jason Zuck is an AB109 probationer. AB109, also known as Post Release Community Supervision, was signed into law in November 2011. It allows thousands of less serious offenders to remain out of custody and on probation, while they would have previously been eligible for prison.”
Officers arrested both Zuck and Bianco and they were booked into the Southwest Detention Center. The stolen items, valued at over $700, were returned to the store.
Zuck was booked for eight felonies and one misdemeanor, including conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery, Post Release Community Supervision violation, prior strike enhancement charge, and a prior strike enhancement charge. He is being held without bail at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Bianco was booked for for seven felonies, including conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery, prior strike enhancement and a prior prison strike enhancement. He was also charged with attempting to smuggle a control substance into a correctional facility. He is being held in lieu of $70,000 bail.
Both subjects are expected to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta on Mar. 7 at 8:30 a.m.
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