VENTURA COUNTY — Pity the fool who thinks that missing a court date in Ventura County is no big deal. According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Brad Clifton, “some think if they just don’t show up for a court hearing, the police won’t have the manpower to come find them.”
Based upon the events of January 29th, when deputies assigned to the Thousand Oaks Police Department Traffic Bureau—working under a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—conducted an aggressive “sweep” through several area neighborhoods in search of individuals over whom outstanding arrest warrants loomed, anyone thinking the police don’t have the time, talent, or inclination to come after them are sorely mistaken.
Two such souls may have been Lynette Marie Schwertfeger, a 34-year-old Simi Valley resident, and Alan Emmanuel Perez, a 25-year-old hailing from Thousand Oaks.
Both Schwertfeger and Perez were the targets of a “high risk DUI and substance abuse offenders” effort on the 29th, and both were summarily returned to Ventura County Jail where they were booked under the warrants with additional charges relating to their failure to appear in court as scheduled.
Clifton noted that “Special DUI Warrant Service Operations” generally have a deterrent effect upon “those who disregard driving safely and abusing alcohol and drugs,” and that those ignoring court dates will eventually be apprehended and “often face additional jail time for failing to appear in court.”