Santa Barbara County – LoJack, the company offering a stolen vehicle recovery system that directly integrates with law enforcement agencies nationwide, boasts that when their customers’ cars are stolen, they have a significantly improved chance of getting it back in one piece.
Based upon the events of September 15th in the City of Carpinteria, that may not be mere advertising hyperbole. According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, it was in the early evening on the 15th when a routine SBSD patrol unit cruising the streets of that beach community was alerted via the onboard Lojack system that a stolen vehicle was in the area. Once SBSD Dispatch confirmed that a “1999 Honda had been stolen out of Santa Barbara”, other patrol units arrived on the scene.
Just moments later, another patrol unit picked up a hot Lojack signal on the suspect vehicle and quickly located it being driven on a local street. An attempt was made to conduct a traffic stop, but “the driver refused to yield” and drove onto the 101 northbound freeway, subsequently exiting and coming to a halt in a nearby private driveway.
As the pursuing patrol units pulled up, the suspect driver—later identified as 27-year-old Oxnard resident Jose Jeraldo Ramos—alighted from the vehicle and ran off into a nearby avocado orchard. A secure perimeter around the orchard was soon established, an SBSD helicopter unit arrived overhead, and “two Sheriff’s K-9 teams responded to assist.” One of the K-9s, “Magnum”, wasted no time, quickly tracking through the darkened avocado orchard to find Ramos “hiding under an avocado tree” and promptly taking him under control in a true case of “Magnum force.”
Ramos was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, fleeing an emergency vehicle, resisting a peace officer, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of burglary tools.
The stolen car was returned to its owner, undoubtedly providing Lojack with a very positive customer testimonial.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking