Arrests Follow Police Pursuit on Modoc Road

Cop cars chased a pair of locals suspected of grand theft auto
on Modoc Road on the morning of Thursday, January 25. The suspects
had eluded officers the previous day. “The story began last night
at 10 p.m.,” Santa Barbara Police Department spokesperson Lt. Paul
McCaffrey later explained, “when an officer tried to stop a black
1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse for playing the stereo too loud.” The car
sped off and officers gave up the chase because they didn’t want to
endanger the public over such a minor violation. It turned out that
the car was stolen out of Santa Ana, so a “be on the lookout”
bulletin was issued and the next day. Undercover detective Mark
Suarez spotted it on San Andres Street and fell in behind the
Eclipse. “Suspicious of the large clean-cut man following them in a
late model sedan,” continued McCaffrey, the driver sped onto Modoc
and then up an embankment to Hacienda Drive, where two motorcycle
officers stopped the car at gunpoint. The passenger, 24 year old
Salvador Mendoza, surrendered, but the driver ran up the poison-oak
infested hillside. Twenty officers ringed the perimeter and
searched for half an hour before they found the driver, 20-year-old
Santos Hernandez, hiding in the bushes. Both men were arrested on
charges of auto theft and outstanding warrants.


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