VENTURA COUNTY — Jonathan Jessop, a 37-year-old hailing from Oceanside, apparently enjoys the life of a dedicated crook but has difficulty interpreting recent changes in the state’s Criminal Code.
In February of this year, he was arrested while in Oceanside following the burglary of a Ventura County restaurant located in an unincorporated community just north of the city of Ojai.
While he was found to be in possession of heroin at the time of his arrest for that crime, he asserted—quite mistakenly, as it turned out—that the burglary would only qualify as a misdemeanor under California’s Proposition 47.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Will Hollowell, upon his release from San Diego County Jail custody on that case, Jessop returned to the Ojai area in October 2016, where he perpetrated a residential burglary and auto theft, taking off with a number of his victim’s credit cards.
While in possession of the purloined credit cards, Jessop reportedly made “numerous fraudulent purchases” totaling in excess of $10,000 and eventually returned to the Oceanside area.
At that point, VCSD Ojai Station detectives got busy, reviewing video surveillance images that identified Jessop as the principal suspect. In an effort coordinated with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Ojai detectives located the stolen vehicle, which led them to Jessop himself.
Rather than submit to arrest, however, Jessop “fled on foot,” only to be later taken into custody and transported to Ventura County Jail. He was then charged with multiple counts of identity theft, three counts of burglary, and a single count of grand theft, with his bail set at $500,000.
Photo: courtesy Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Ojai Station Booking