Lt. Michael Vieira said Birch Drive residents spotted a man taking mail out of the mailboxes of homes near the Hickory Avenue intersection at around 2 p.m.
When a police officer arrived, he spotted a group of people standing outside of 1493 Birch Drive. One of the men, later identified as Robert Nevarez, 28, allegedly ran inside the house.
Hickory Avenue — from Cypress and Locust drives — was closed to car and pedestrian traffic as heavily armed officers surrounded the house.
Vieira said the residents of the house were on probation and that background checks revealed that one resident had a cousin wanted on a 3-year-old murder warrant from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department.
According to Vieira, the suspect and the cousin look similar and police surrounded the house thinking the murder suspect was hiding inside.
Vieira said the residents would not give them the man’s name.
At least nine police cruisers were seen on the street and police officers with automatic rifles took aim at the house from behind fences across the street from the house.
A police K9 unit and a robot were called to the scene to assist in the search for the man hiding in the house who refused to come out.
Nevarez was found shortly after 3 p.m. hiding in a locked bedroom after the residents gave police consent to enter the house.
Nearby Villalovoz Elementary School was not put on lockdown but students leaving school at the 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. dismissals were not allowed to go north on Hickory Avenue.
Vieira said Nevarez was not the man wanted for murder.
Instead, he was taken into custody on two other warrants from the county sheriff’s department and the city of Escalon — which included a charge of domestic violence.
Vieira was uncertain if charges will be filed in Wednesday’s incident.
•Contact Glenn Moore at 830 4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org