Suspect still on the lam after manhunt and burglary

07/14/2016

Hunting rifles, shotguns and an all-terrain vehicle were found stolen from a ranch in Point Reyes Station on Monday morning, just two days after a man who may have had a gun evaded police during a manhunt at Point Reyes Vineyards. The suspect, Jose Antonio Martinez Gonzalez, who is in his late 20s and may live in Petaluma, has not yet been located, Marin Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman said, adding that the Sheriff’s Office was “99 percent” sure that they were searching for the right person. 

The incident began on Saturday morning, with a report of a Latino man on top of a car on Mesa Road threatening someone inside the vehicle. Soon after, a group that apparently included the same man showed up at the tasting room at Point Reyes Vineyards. Vineyard owner Steve Doughty said two men came in the front and two women in the back—intending to rob the place, he believes—but one of the men recognized an employee. (Lt. Pittman could not confirm that all four knew each other.) 

Soon, one of the women who had come in started shouting that the man had a gun, Mr. Doughty said, though he and his employees did not themselves see a weapon. The man apparently announced he was going to the bathroom, but he quickly took off into the brush, igniting a search that included a large team of police and a helicopter, but the suspect eluded capture. “I stayed in the tasting room, armed with a rifle, expecting him to come in,” Mr. Doughty said. 

The suspect never showed up, but on Monday, the owner of the cattle ranch behind the vineyard reported that his hunting lodge had been burglarized. The door had been removed from its hinges and 10 hunting rifles and shotguns, as well as an A.T.V., were missing. Lt. Pittman pegged the estimated value of the goods at $34,000. 

“We believe he may have holed up in the shed” during the search, he added. 

Mr. Doughty, who has also run a private investigation firm in Napa since 1979, said he wasn’t too worried, as he was ready to defend himself. “I’m not afraid,” he said in the tasting room on Monday morning over sips of an unoaked Chardonnay that the winery makes. He added that, otherwise, business was smooth over the weekend and the tasting room was busy with customers.