Car thieves foiled by stolen check
(L to R) Mason Barbee, Christopher Owen, and Sergio Fernandez
HOLLISTER — The Hollister Police Department have put three car thieves behind bars, thanks to the quick actions of a bank employee at The Wells Fargo Bank inside the Nob Hill Store on Airline Highway.
On Wednesday, December 16, police were notified that someone had come into the Wells Fargo Bank in the Nob Hill Store at 1700 Airline Highway and was attempting to cash a check that had been reported stolen — linked to a stolen car report out of Santa Cruz.
When Officer Melgoza arrived on the scene, he found the stolen vehicle parked directly in front the Nob Hill Store entrance. After calling in back-up, Officer Melgoza was able apprehend the two suspects inside the vehicle.
That’s when they learned about the third suspect inside the store at the bank trying to cash the stolen check. When he came out, he saw his friends being arrested and took off.
Unfortunately for him, Sergeant Pershall spotted him and chased after him on foot, catching him just moments later.
Arrested were 26-year-old Mason Barbee, the driver, 29-year-old Christopher Owen, the passenger, and 27-year-old Sergio Fernandez, the one who tried to cash the check.
All three were transported to the San Benito County Jail and booked on charges of possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of a bank check with the intent to commit fraud, and making a fictitious check.
The stolen vehicle has since been returned to the rightful owner.