Alcantar-Lopez wanted for burglary, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery threatening with intent to terrorize and obstructing officers
A fugitive who was the subject of an hours-long SWAT operation in Ford City Sunday may have escaped just as police were arriving.
The law enforcement activity started just after 1 p.m. when Taft Police received information that Eduardo Alcantar-Lopez, 24, was seen walking into a house at the corner of Madison and Birch Streets.
Alcantar-Lopez is wanted in connection with a home invasion robbery and kidnapping of a Taft man in May and faces charges of burglary, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery threatening with intent to terrorize and obstructing officers.
Police and Kern County Sheriff's deputies made several attempts to call the suspect out of the house over a public address system after they surrounded the house but there was no response.
The KCSO SWAT team was then called in and descended on the scene with two armed cars, numerous deputies in tactical gear and several support vehicles. Again, more attempts were made to call the suspect out. Finally, about 6 p.m., a SWAT team entered the home and searched it but found Alcantar-Lopez was not there.
They believe he may have fled out the back door as the first officers arrived.
Alcantar-Lopez is one of two men charged with the home invasion robbery at a home on the 200 block of San Emidio Street in May. The second, Jose DeJesus Mota, 21, is being held in Kern County Jail.
Taft Police said the victim was asleep in his home when one of the suspects slipped in through a window and opened a door to let the second suspect inside.
The suspects began ransacking the home looking for valuables, police said.
At some point the victim awoke on confronted the suspects. He was assaulted, then tied up and blindfolded as the suspects continued to rummage through the house.
The suspects punched and kicked him several times, police said, as they demanded to know where the money and valuables were.
The victim was then untied and taken out to his own car at knifepoint and then driven to Chase bank a few blocks away with one suspect holding a knife to his neck, police said.
Once there, the suspects ordered him to go into the bank and withdraw money and return with it. If he didn't, police said, the suspects threatened to kill him and his family and burn his house down.
The victim instead told bank employees what was happening and they called police. As officers arrived, both suspects fled from the car. One suspect was chased by officers as he fled westbound up the alley on the north side of the 400 block of North Street and a discarded backpack was found. Alcantar was arrested a short time later.
Mota was arrested the next day.
Alcantar-Lopez was free on bail when he missed a court appearance and a warrant was issued.