Ventura County – The life of a law enforcement patrol officer must be filled with daily surprises, if the events leading to the arrests of two car thieves in the Camarillo-Moorpark area on the morning of July 12th are any indication.
It was at approximately 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a Camarillo shopping center when a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department patrol unit happened to be cruising past the CVS Pharmacy and the deputy behind the wheel of his black-and-white spotted an adult male carrying a large cardboard box, exiting the store in apparent haste.
According to VCSD spokesman Sgt. John Franchi, “the deputy followed the subject and was notified by CVS employees that a theft of electronics had just occurred,” whereupon the deputy began to approach the hasty man as he entered a parked vehicle where another man sat behind the wheel. But before the deputy could make contact with either man, they both alighted from the car and took off running in opposite directions.
The deputy called additional law enforcement to the scene, whereupon it was determined that the vehicle had been stolen in Santa Barbara County and a search for the two suspects was initiated.
Shortly thereafter, 27-year-old Oxnard resident Demetrio Gonzales was found making every effort to disappear into the population of shoppers at the nearby Premium Outlets shopping center. It didn’t take deputies long to determine that Gonzales had been the driver of the getaway car, and he was summarily taken into custody.
Throughout the apprehension of Gonzales, deputies received information about “a second stolen vehicle” reportedly stolen the same morning in Moorpark.
That vehicle became the subject of a “short pursuit” which ended when it ran out of gasoline, and Edgar Duran, a 22-year-old from Camarillo, was contacted and discovered to have been the hasty thief first observed at the CVS shopping center scene.
Both Duran and Gonzales were transported to Ventura County Jail, where they were booked on charges ranging from burglary to vehicle theft.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking