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Police arrest 3rd home invasion suspect
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Antonio Jose Bettencourt, 23, of Castro Valley, a third suspect in a Manteca home invasion robbery in late June, is seen being placed in a police transport unit enroute to San Joaquin County Jail by detective Steve Harris and booking officer Mike Kelly. - photo by GLENN KAHL
The third man police believe was involved in a June 26 home invasion robbery was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Manteca detectives as he was being released from the Santa Clara County Jail where he was being held for a parole violation.

He was released from custody, walked through the doorway, and was rearrested by Manteca officers who drove him back to the Central Valley.

Antonio Jose Bettencourt, 23, of Castro Valley was alleged to be the key figure in the predawn 5 a.m. assault on a Manteca home in a northeast Manteca neighborhood near Joshua Cowell School.

Detective Steve Harris said that Bettencourt had been dating the daughter of the residents and was upstairs in bed when Steven Paul Pacheco, 27, of Hayward and John Eric Sevilla, 30, of Castro Valley entered the home.

Harris said through their police investigation it was determined that Bettencourt helped in planning and carrying out the home invasion.

“Without him this whole home invasion would not have taken place,” the detective said.

The Castro Valley man was charged with first degree robbery and conspiracy to commit the crime.  Bail was set at $160,000 in San Joaquin County Jail; however his current parole status was violated with his arrest not allowing the suspect any bail amount.

The quick response to a 911 call the morning of the robbery brought officers Jason Bonetti and Eddie Cardenas into the general neighborhood of Sweat Pea Place.  Rounding corners from opposite directions in their patrol units the officers caught sight of the running suspect in their headlights – running away from the victim.

Officers said they witnessed a 27-year-old Pacheco pull a semi-automatic weapon from his waistband and dropped it on the ground after allegedly firing one round at the pursuing homeowner.  They said the police car video units caught the entire incident on their digital cameras.

Detectives said Pacheco and Sevilla had entered the home through a garage door with guns drawn and wearing masks when the dad, who had been sleeping in the living room, was awakened by a noise and went to investigate.

Police related that one of the men put the muzzle of his weapon into back of the father’s neck forcing him to the floor and demanding to know where he kept his money and jewelry.  His wife then entered the room and she, too, was ordered to the floor at gunpoint, officers said.

The masked duo reportedly told the homeowner that he would be killed if he didn’t tell them the location of their valuables.  Police said he assured him that his wife would tell them after they had killed him.

While the one bandit held the couple at gunpoint the other searched the upstairs and downstairs rooms eventually locating cash, jewelry and cell phones, officers added.

John Sevilla was arrested in Castro Valley the following Tuesday when Manteca detectives Rob Armasino and Steve Harris followed up on leads to that Bay Area community.

Officers reported they had recovered a hand gun in Sevilla’s residence along with property they believed had been taken from the Sweet Pea Place home.

While Pacheco was found to have several thousand dollars in cash stuffed in his pockets at the time of his arrest, the homeowner told The Bulletin that he didn’t have that kind of cash in his home.

Both Pacheco and Sevilla are also in the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.  Pacheco is charged with six felonies including being a felon in possession of a firearm, residential burglary, home invasion robbery, robbery, street terrorism and possession of ammunition.  Bail is set at $500,000 and his court date is set for Sept. 17, at 8:30 a.m. in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.

Sevilla has been charged with three felonies, street terrorism, home invasion robbery and residential burglary.  Bail was not allowed in his case and he will join Pacheco on the September 17 court date in the Manteca court.