The final suspect in last week’s Petaluma home invasion robberies now is in custody in North Carolina, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers in Winston‑Salem, North Carolina took Jade Lafay Johnson, 19, into custody Thursday, on a traffic stop, sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum said Monday.
Sonoma County Sheriff’s detectives traveled to North Carolina during the weekend to interview Johnson and she will be extradited to Sonoma County for prosecution. She is being held on a $1 million arrest warrant in connection with the March 12 robberies of residents in three homes on a rural lane southwest of Petaluma.
Already in custody in the Sonoma County Jail are seven men, from the Richmond, Virginia and Winston‑Salem areas, suspected of being accomplices. Eight masked robbers burst into the Eugenia Drive homes about 3 a.m. seeking marijuana. There was no marijuana at the homes, officials said. Residents were tied up and one man was hit with a gun before the eight fled, heading south on Highway 101.
Four men were arrested following a law enforcement pursuit and three others were arrested that night at SFO while attempting to fly to the East Coast.
The Petaluma case mirrors two Santa Rosa‑area home invasion robberies on Feb. 8. In that case masked intruders broke into a Fulton Road home where they shot and wounded a 42‑year‑old man. At a Melcon Lane home intruders shot and killed resident Jose Luis Torres, 54. In those cases the robbers demanded marijuana and cash and came out empty handed, officials said.
Four men are in custody in the Santa Rosa case, three of them from the same East Coast regions as suspects in the Petaluma crimes. A woman, Amber Hembree, 20, of Richmond, Virginia, also is a suspect but hasn’t been arrested.