Ventura County – When local law enforcement in any community publishes a warning to the public to “please lock your car”, there’s a good reason…and that reason was certainly in the spotlight with the arrest of two citizens of Ventura on March 19th pursuant to a month-long investigation into a series of break-ins and thefts from vehicles in the City of Thousand Oaks.
According to Ventura County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Eric Buschow, Michael Rodriguez, 44, and Nastaza Schmidt, 25, had been the focus of the investigation that began in February and are suspected of conducting more than 30 auto burglaries. Rodriguez and Schmidt, who had been under extended surveillance, were contacted at a Newbury Park motel where evidence was found indicating their involvement in “a crime spree that involved vehicle burglaries and the theft of property from the vehicles.” Among items of evidence were personal ID documents and credit cards stolen from multiple victims.
Because of the widespread timeline and the geographical reference points of the alleged crimes, “Thousand Oaks Police are working closely with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies” in anticipation of some connection between Rodriguez and Schmidt and other similar crimes across jurisdictional lines.
Also contacted at the Newbury Park Motel scene was Natasha Williams, 34, who just happened to have been sought on an outstanding felony warrant unrelated to the burglary activity. She was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and was taken into custody as well.
All three were booked into Ventura County Jail, with Rodriguez held on $70,000 bail, Schmidt held on $390,000 bail, and Williams held on $85,000 bail.
Even though they remain in jail…lock your car.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking
VCSTAR: Pair arrested in connection with more than than 30 vehicle burglaries