EAST PALO ALTO — Young adults looking to make a quick buck on the street found that it doesn't pay to attack innocent people after police searched three houses Thursday.

Narcotics and guns were seized in connection with two separate crimes where the suspects robbed strangers minding their own business.

Police found illegal firearms, ammunition and gang paraphernalia Thursday morning at the house of two of the five alleged gang members arrested for a robbery, East Palo Alto Police Lt. Tom Alipio said in a statement.

According to reports: On Aug. 30, five men wearing red clothing attacked a man on the street.

"They asked, 'Do you bang?' He said, 'No' and they beat him up and robbed him," Alipio said.

Shortly after, the victim provided suspect information and later that evening, East Palo Alto Officer John Norden stopped several of the suspects as they stood in front of a house at 120 Myrtle Court where brothers Jorge Cabrera, 23, and Jose Cabrera, 24, lived.

The victim, 19, positively identified at the house all five suspects, who included Miguel Martinez, 19, an East Palo Alto resident, and Redwood City residents Ramiro Sanchez, 24, and Sergio Gonzalez, 19.

The arrested all belonged to the Norteos criminal street gang, which received "notoriety" after one of their members (Alberto Alvarez) shot and killed Officer Richard May earlier this year, Alipio said.

Several of the men have criminal histories. Jorge Cabrera was charged with reckless driving in 2005 and with resisting a police officer in performance of duty in 2002. Jose Cabrera successfully completed three years probation for a felony of unlawful sexual intercourse in 2001, San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Sanchez plead no contest to racing in March 2006 and no contest to a misdemeanor assault in Dec. 2001. He also had offenses for alcohol possession and driving on a suspended license. Martinez and Gonzalez do not have previous offenses in San Mateo County, Wagstaffe added.

The Myrtle Court residence was searched to further validate the claims of gang allegations. Several Norteo gang paraphernalia was found, including graffiti, clothing and pictures of members. Two illegal semi-automatic assault rifles, two handguns, as well as three high-capacity magazines and a moderate amount of ammunition, were also confiscated, East Palo Alto Police said.

Later the same day, two sisters, ages 19 and 16, also were arrested for attacking and robbing two people. The sisters accosted two female friends walking home in the 1200 block of Saratoga Street Sept. 1.

The sisters challenged the friends to a fight, but the friends refused and tried to flee. The older sister, Carlandra Pervis, told her younger sister to attack one of the friends. The younger sister punched the victim in the face and the victim fought back and gained the upper hand. Pervis then shocked the victim with a stun gun in the face near her left eye. This caused the victim to fall to the ground, whereupon the younger sister yanked two chains off the victim's neck, East Palo Alto Police said.

After the robbery, both sisters fled in a car. East Palo Alto Police detective Jeff Liu secured an arrest warrant for the sisters. Police searched Pervis' Newark residence as well as her younger sister's East Palo Alto residence.

On Thursday, East Palo Alto detectives arrested the younger sister at her home without incident. She was charged with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of stolen property. Meanwhile, Newark and East Past Palo Alto police set up a surveillance of Pervis' residence.

She was observed entering a car with another woman and a 3-year-old child. She attempted to evade police and a short car chase followed. Pervis lost control, crashed into the front yard of a house in Newark and then tried to run away, but was caught.

Pervis was found with suspected cocaine base, methamphetamine and marijuana as well as a loaded gun and was arrested. She was charged with possession of a loaded firearm, possession of controlled substance for sale and child endangerment. The child was not injured in the pursuit. Pervis had two years of court probation and a $330 fine for a misdemeanor threat in September 2005, Wagstaffe said.

Staff writer Rachel Cohen covers public safety and can be reached at (650) 348-4339 and by e-mail at rcohen@sanmateocountytimes.com.