On June 18, 2016 at 11:45 a.m., Oxnard Police and Fire personnel responded to the Oxnard Walmart store, located at 2701 Saviers Rd, regarding a suspicious device. Oxnard Police Department and Fire Department officials were able to identify the device as a possible improvised chemical weapon. The business was subsequently evacuated for approximately six hours while a Hazardous Materials Team was able to render the device safe. Walmart management estimated the store lost over $120,000 in revenue as a result of this incident.
An extensive month long investigation followed, led by Oxnard Police Department Property Crimes Investigators in conjunction with Walmart Global Investigators, Oxnard Police Department Crime Scene Investigators, and the Ventura County Crime Lab. With the assistance of evidence collected on scene, investigators were able to identify the suspect as Martin Reyes, a 32-year old Oxnard resident.
On Tuesday, July 19, 2016, Oxnard Police Department Investigators responded to the Ventura County Main Jail to interview Reyes, who was in custody for an unrelated charge. Martin Reyes confessed to investigators that he manufactured and placed the chemical weapon inside the open Walmart store. Reyes was aware that the device was capable of creating a gas, which has been classified by the C.D.C. as a chemical that is “Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Considerations (IDLH)”. Reyes told investigators that he conducted most of his research into the device on the internet.
Reyes was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Main Jail for the unlawful possession and manufacturing of a chemical weapon of mass destruction.
The Oxnard Police Department continues to encourage residents to be partners in public safety as part of the Operation Safer and Stronger Initiative. Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Oxnard Police Department at (805) 385-7600, or you can remain anonymous by calling the Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (805) 222-8477.
You can also visit this site http://www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org/contactus.apx to submit at tip via text or email.