Photo: Alejandro Valadez
Ventura County – Late in the afternoon of January 27th, a patron of a Fillmore gas station parked his vehicle at the pumps and went inside the mini-mart cashier’s station to pay for his gas. While he was standing at the cash register completing his transaction, he looked up and was surprised to see his vehicle being driven away by a man later identified as 29-year-old Fillmore resident Alejandro Valadez.
With all due alacrity, the owner of the vehicle dialed 911 to report the incident. When deputies arrived at the gas station, he provided them with a description of his vehicle and of Valadez.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Vince Alvarez, the deputies then accessed the gas station’s security video system and viewed images “that captured the crime.”
Not long afterward, deputies made a visual identification of Valadez and reported him as their suspect throughout the area to other officers and patrol units on duty at the time.
It wasn’t long before a patrol unit spotted Valadez walking down a Ventura street. When Valadez noticed that he has suddenly come to the attention of the deputy, he made himself scarce and disappeared between houses.
Additional patrol units were summoned to the area and “an extensive search” of the neighborhood was conducted. Valadez was soon located, the stolen vehicle was recovered with a dry gas tank, and he was taken into custody.
Valadez was transported to Ventura County Jail and booked on a charge of vehicle theft.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking