VENTURA COUNTY — Following a rash of sport utility vehicle thefts from an Oxnard auto dealership storage lot over the past several weeks, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Auto Theft Task Force joined forces with the Oxnard Police Department to determine the identities of likely suspects.
According to California Highway Patrol spokesman Rolando Tejada, that investigative effort quickly led law enforcement to identify the stolen vehicles as having been involved in multiple hit-and-run incidents as well as “police pursuits in unincorporated areas of the county.”
Pursuant to that determination, authorities soon connected those events with Oxnard residents Ray Fernandez, age 20, Luis Rodriguez, 29, and 48-year-old Jimmy Juarez.
With those identities in hand, Oxnard police then conducted warrant searches of the storage yard from which the vehicles had been stolen as well as a private Oxnard residence where the three suspects were located.
All three men were taken into custody without further incident and transported to Ventura County Jail. Fernandez and Rodriguez were booked on charges of felony unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle, receiving stolen property, felony evasion, and resisting arrest.
For his part, Juarez was booked on two prior outstanding warrants. All three remain in custody, with Juarez ineligible for bail.