BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The Feb. 23 home invasion robbery in Westchester, was interrupted when the homeowner came home unexpectedly and may not have been an isolated crime, according to Bakersfield police.
Six months, six unsolved home invasion robberies. Similar suspect descriptions, similar getaway vehicles and similar victim profiles. And now, in month seven, following a seventh home invasion with familiar characteristics – two arrests.
Have Bakersfield police finally nabbed the perpetrators and is one of them a man who goes by the handle Hot Shot? That’s for prosecutors to prove.
Police have arrested 36-year-old Frederick Minnoy III of Bakersfield in the Feb. 23 attempted burglary at the home of John Dovichi, a prominent local home builder. Another suspect, 43-year-old Melvin Carter, of Palmdale, sustained gunshot wounds in his thigh and arm thought to be connected to the same incident.
Police found Carter at Kern Medical that night and seized his cell phone. On it, they found discussions about the sale of jewelry and other items – discussion with someone calling himself Hot Shot. Police determined Hot Shot’s phone number belonged to Minnoy. The whereabouts of a third possible suspect are unknown.
Dovichi didn’t want to be interviewed on camera, but he showed 17 News where it all occurred that Thursday night at about 7:30 p.m.
Dovichi said he had dinner with friends at Woolgrowers and then drove to his Westchester home on Pine Street to find his wrought iron gate open.
“And when I pulled up, the car was parked right there,” Dovichi said.
Moments later two men ran outside, jumped in the car and squirmed out of the tight spot. A third man seated in the back seat, Dovichi said, opened his car door and started shooting.
A bullet pierced Dovichi’s boot – barely grazing his skin. The Hyundai made what one neighbor told police was a multiple-point turn on Dovichi’s front lawn, before it crashed through the property’s wrought iron fence. Dovichi, who dove to the ground to avoid being hit, fired back. He got off multiple shots, reloaded and continued firing until the car sped away, the threat over. But the suspect’s car left behind this little investigative treasure – the horn assembly from the Hyundai’s front undercarriage.
Police eventually located and seized a 2011 silver Hyundai Elantra that had damage consistent with the suspect’s escape.
Now prosecutors must piece together a case – while police and sheriff’s investigators try to determine if six other cases are connected.
On August 29 of last year, at 10:17 pm, homeowners were awakened by two men brandishing a handgun and a stun gun.
Then, roughly once a month, similar invasions: Sept. 18, Oct. 31, Nov. 16, Jan. 12, Jan. 26, in each case two Black men in their 30s, heavy builds, in most but not all cases described as between 6 feet, 2 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches tall.
And then Feb. 23, at John Dovichi’s house.
Through it all, by some miracle, no loss of life.
Investigators searched Minnoy’s home and found cash, jewelry, numerous firearms – and a stun gun.