A car theft began in Rancho Santa Margarita and ended four cities later with the arrest of a 20-year-old man in Tustin, thanks in part to the subscription tracking and communications service OnStar.
According to the blotter of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the incident that ended in the fourth arrest in the past year of Javier Asuncion Hernandez-Bertschy began late Tuesday night on Brisa del Lago.
A Rancho Santa Margarita resident made a late night 9-1-1 call to report he had just seen someone steal his vehicle from his condominium garage. The victim, who saw the car drive away, indicated he must have left the car open with the keys inside of his dark gray 2012 Chevrolet Camaro.
The Camaro was tracked through Mission Viejo and Lake Forest before accessing northbound Interstate 5 from El Toro Road, where OnStar indicated the vehicle illegally used the HOV lane—though that might ultimately be one of Hernandez-Bertschy’s smaller problems.
The California Highway Patrol picked up the chase and ran a traffic break. With law enforcement vehicles near the Camaro and OnStar receiving confirmation it had the right vehicle in its crosshairs, it took over the chase. It remotely began flashing the lights on the Camaro and slowing the car through its Stolen Vehicle Assistance service.