Thanks to an observant victim and an “ill-timed suspect rendezvous,” two stolen vehicles were recovered by the Santa Barbara Police Department last weekend, reported spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey.

On May 6, at 7:12 p.m, a couple driving south on Las Positas spotted their stolen vehicle, a 2007 Toyota Prius. Following their vehicle up Cliff Drive and onto Flora Vista, the couple called the police.

As the Prius met up with three males in a Chrysler, and subsequently drove to Shoreline Park, the victims followed while updating the police dispatch with the location of their vehicle — the “rolling stolen.”

Two officers arrived on scene and pulled in behind the stolen Prius and the three males in the Chrysler, which turned out to be stolen as well. The Chrysler suspects yelled, “The cops, let’s bail!” and took off running in different directions, said McCaffrey. While officers each tackled a suspect, the other jumped a side fence to a residence. Additional officers searched backyards and found this suspect hiding in a small backyard shed.

The 17-year-old male driver of the Prius and the 17- and 16-year-old males in the Chrysler were booked into Juvenile Hall for auto theft.

Both vehicles were stolen as a result of keys being left outside or inside the vehicle. The SBPD advises to drivers, “Remember: Lock it and pocket the key.”


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