.

Weapons, Drug Bust Home Burns to Ground in Los Gatos Mountains

Single-story property is destroyed by Monday morning fire, Cal Fire says.

A property in the 25000 block of Highland Way in the southeast Los Gatos Mountains burned to the ground Monday, the scene of a drug bust Oct. 4.

According to Cal Fire Capt. Scott Green, the fire was reported at 10:47 a.m. and totally engulfed the single-story residential home where Santa Cruz sheriff's deputies had arrested two town residents with loaded guns and meth earlier this month.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, Green said.

The fire was contained at about 11:45 a.m. and was controlled at 2:36 p.m. No injuries were reported and fire investigators aren't sure if anyone was home when the fire broke out.

The value of the approximately 40-year-old home, or how much was lost in property assets is not known at this time. Due to nearby wild land on Radonich Road, a full response was activated, which involved two water tenders, seven fire engines, two air tankers, one helicopter and one air attack plane, and between 28 and 30 fire personnel, Green said.

Kenneth Cook, 36, and Tabitha Wilkerson, 25, were arrested in early October by Santa Cruz sheriff's deputies and were charged with being under the influence of narcotics and in possession of a sawed off shotgun and rifle.

A third Los Gatos resident, Crystal King, 24, was arrested and charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance.

The bust came after Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office personnel, Auto Theft Task Force personnel and Santa Cruz County Planning Department personnel served an inspection warrant at the residence.

While searching the residence, detectives found the loaded sawed-off shotgun, a loaded sawed-off rifle, ammunition and methamphetamine.

Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputies said they responded to the same residence last month after Leland Beller allegedly discharged a firearm and brandished a weapon at two persons on the property.

Beller fled the scene after the incident and a felony warrant has been issued for his arrest, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and brandishing a weapon. Beller was wanted by law enforcement.

Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz October 16, 2012 at 09:13 PM
No surprise here! That's been happening for years!
Drew Meister October 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Then why the devil didn't you report the first incident. No surprise? How could there be with complicity such as yours.
Maria Ristow October 17, 2012 at 04:09 PM
This is horrible. There are families with kids that live in adjacent properties. It's a beautiful area with lots of open space to enjoy. Thank goodness the fire dept. was able to respond so quickly and completely.
Leland beller November 13, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Are u kidding fire dpt is looking real good now that's a joke they let it burn to the ground they must of been washing there trucks because u can stand in there parking lot and spray a garden hose on the burning home about 20 /30 yards away from each other so wow I might have to give them a burnt ding dong for hard work .
Leland beller November 13, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Are u kidding fire dpt is looking real good now that's a joke they let it burn to the ground they must of been washing there trucks because u can stand in there parking lot and spray a garden hose on the burning home about 20 /30 yards away from each other so wow I might have to give them a burnt ding dong for hard work .

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »