Ventura County – Some car thieves are purely opportunistic, always on the prowl for unlocked vehicles or keys left in the ignition. The typical car thief generally hops into a car or truck and simply drives away, abandoning the vehicle some time thereafter.
Kenneth Lewis, a 42-year-old resident of Thousand Oaks, however, is far from typical. According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Dan Hawes, on September 29th, alert Thousand Oaks Patrol deputies cruising through the city spotted a pair of stolen vehicles—a 2012 Dodge Charger stolen from San Bernardino and a 2008 Maserati stolen from Florida—parked beside each other. A prompt records check brought the name of Lewis to the attention of detectives who immediately began their investigation of him.
48 hours later, detectives with Thousand Oaks Police Special Enforcement Unit determined that Lewis—reputed to have used several aliases—was a California parolee and was “wanted in the state of Texas for violation of parole.” In the early afternoon of October 1st, SEU detectives made contact with Lewis at his residence on the pretense of conducting a parole search, whereupon he was placed under arrest for the Texas parole violation. The ensuing search of his home revealed that Lewis was in possession of more than $65,000 cash, “a semi-automatic handgun, keys to multiple high end vehicles,” and a plethora of documents tying Lewis to the stolen Dodge Charger, the Maserati, a Chevrolet Silverado, a Mercedes, and a Jaguar. All vehicles were located scattered throughout Thousand Oaks and at the Los Angeles International Airport.
Based upon the totality of the evidence gathered at the scene, Lewis was transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on five counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and parole violation, with his bail set at $1,000,000.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking