Car Thief Escapes, Cohorts in Custody

Car Thief Escapes, Cohorts in Custody

CARPINTERIA, December 22nd — Those who manage to evade and ultimately elude law enforcement apprehension efforts following  high-speed wrong-way car chases are a rare breed indeed, but once they become the subject of a “public assistance request,” the countdown of their numbered days of freedom begins.

That clock is now ticking for Juan Bejar (29), a resident of Oxnard who, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, “is considered dangerous and may be armed.”  It was well after midnight on December 14th when Carpinteria Station SBSD Deputies responded to a report phoned in by two individuals who observed a motor vehicle being stolen in front of their residence.  According to Hoover’s report to the media, when Bejar spotted the couple “he verbally threatened to use a firearm,” whereupon the reporting pair immediately retreated inside their residence.

Jose Bejar

Jose Bejar

At that point, Bejar allegedly fled in the stolen vehicle for a short distance, promptly crashing the car and then alighting from it and running to a green van observed to have been “waiting for him” and subsequently found to have been driven by his brother with Bejar’s wife inside. By this time, responding deputies were on the scene, and the green van—determined to have been stolen from a residence in the city of Oxnard sped away, with black-and-whites’ flashing lights and blaring sirens in hot pursuit.

The chase was soon called off and police contact with it was lost, however, when the van drove onto U.S. 101 in the wrong direction, heading north out of Carpinteria.  When the van exited the freeway just a short distance away, it was spotted again by Deputies who pursued with all due alacrity onto the streets of downtown Carpinteria.  As the van raced toward the city’s primary intersection, Deputies initiated a Pursuit Intervention Technique which quickly disabled the vehicle.

Sandra Lopez

Sandra Lopez

But Bejar was not done, jumping out of the van and fleeing on foot, and eventually making good his escape at approximately 3:00 a.m..  Deputies apprehended van occupants Sandra Lopez (24), and Jose Bejar (28), arresting them on charges of attempted burglary, receiving stolen property, conspiracy, and possession of a controlled substance, with no indication of bail amount at this time.

Hoover indicated that the SBSD is “requesting the public’s assistance” to help locate Juan Bejar, warning that he “has an extensive criminal history” and should not be approached or confronted.

Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking

Read more:

Noozhawk: Public’s Help Sought Locating Repeat Wrong-Way Driver

KSBY: SB County Sheriff’s Office looking for suspected car thief, wrong way driver

Car Thief Escapes, Cohorts in Custody was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara