SANTA CRUZ — A tip about a suspicious vehicle paid off for the Santa Cruz Police on Friday morning.
The tip came in about a vehicle around the area of Bellevue Street and Seaside Street, offering only a partial license plate number and vague description. Nonetheless, police ultimately arrested 22-year-old James Smith, a parolee from Santa Cruz, on several firearm and drug charges.
After the tip came in, an alert officer noticed a white Nissan Altima in the area they’d been alerted to. Members of the Santa Cruz Police Department eventually spoke to Smith, who’d been seen in and around the vehicle and was in fact the owner.
Because he is on parole, officers had the green light to search him, at which point they found a large bundle of heroin and a digital scale in his pants pocket. A search of his vehicle turned up a .22 caliber ATI handgun and a magazine with additional ammo.
As if that weren’t enough, numerous burglary tools—including a bolt cutter, torch, airbag, car door opener, and flashlights—were also found, along with miscellaneous property that did not belong to Smith. It was unclear whether these items had been stolen.
Smith was arrested without incident and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of possession of burglary tools, possession of narcotics for sale, and violation of probation. His bail has been set at $10,000.