"An 8-year old that will no longer build new memories with her Papa," Jose DeJesus Berrelleza's heartbroken family said

By Benjamin VanHoose
September 24, 2020 10:21 PM
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Jose DeJesus Berrelleza
| Credit: gofundme

A California man was killed while trying to thwart a thief from stealing his van, after being run over by the vehicle, police said.

On Tuesday at around 6:20 a.m., Jose DeJesus Berrelleza, 33, faced off with someone attempting to steal his work van, according to the Anaheim Police Department. "During that confrontation, Berrelleza fell from the stolen vehicle as it fled. Berrelleza was run over and killed," said authorities.

The father of an 8-year-old daughter needed the vehicle to work and provide for his young family.

"It is believed Berrelleza ... attempted to stop the theft of the vehicle to prevent the loss of his livelihood," police said of the victim protecting his work transportation.

According to a GoFundMe set up to help his family in the wake of this devastating loss, Berrelleza was talking with his father as he always did before work when his truck was stolen.

From left: Adriana Gomez, Omar Sanchez, and Yesenia Escareno
| Credit: Anaheim Police Department

"It was their quality time together when these individuals took him from us," the family writes.

"He was a strong and hardworking individual always looking out for his family, especially his daughter. He had lots of plans for them. The best memories she will cherish were their wild camping trips."

"Jesus was adventurous and was teaching his daughter to be adventurous and brave just like him. An 8-year old that will no longer build new memories with her Papa. Her Papa is no longer here to provide and fight for her."

Investigators recovered the stolen van and arrested three suspects allegedly connected to the situation.

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Omar Sanchez, 28, and Yesenia Escareno, 21, were charged with murder, carjacking and receiving stolen property, while Adriana Gomez, 29, was arrested for being an accessory to the crime.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspects had attorneys to reach for comment.

According to KABC, Berrelleza died at the scene, and police believe the suspects, all Anaheim residents, did not know the victim prior to the incident.