VENTURA — Ventura City Police Department officers on routine patrol on July 2nd observed three individuals in the densely populated area near Telephone Road and Victoria Avenue approaching a 76 gas station convenience store. But when one of them spotted the black-and-white, their pace and posture changed to that of a rather suspicious nature.
According to an unidentified Ventura Police Department Public Affairs spokesman, “they started acting suspiciously” and promptly changed direction, at which point two of the individuals climbed into an SUV parked nearby.
As the SUV drove out of the parking lot, the VCPD officers ran a check on the vehicle and quickly determined that it had been reported as stolen from an Oxnard location. A low-speed surveillance of the SUV was then conducted by the officers while they summoned additional resources to the area.
Once additional VCPD units were on hand, a “high risk” traffic stop was conducted upon the vehicle and the driver was identified as Heidi Harrel, 41, of Camarillo. Her passenger was identified as Mark Wilson, 42, of Ventura, but there was no sign of the third indivual who had been accompanying them at the 76 station.
A K-9 search of the vehicle was then conducted which revealed controlled substances in their possession. Both Harrel and Wilson were arrested at the scene and transported to Ventura County Jail where Harrel was booked on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle while Wilson was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
The third individual—who apparently thought better of going for a ride with Harrel and Wilson—remains at large and is the subject of ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding the identity of this third person is urged to contact the Ventura Police Department at 805-339-4441.
City of Ventura: Stolen Vehicle with Arrest
Ventura County Tribune: 2 Arrested For Stealing an SUV