A Santa Clarita deputy made several arrests Christmas Day as part of a patrol around local businesses in Canyon Country, local officials said Wednesday.
In the early morning hours Monday, a deputy observed a dark-colored truck with three occupants that was being driven around near a shopping center on 22900 block of Soledad Canyon Road, just east of where Soledad Canyon Road turns into Valencia Boulevard.
“Deputies were patrolling in Canyon Country and they observed a dark-colored truck parked in front of the Wing Stop,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
The deputy ultimately followed the vehicle westbound on Soledad and pulled it over near Cinema Drive and Valencia Boulevard in Valencia.
Deputies have made several arrests during their patrols around businesses in parking lots after hours, when the surrounding businesses are closed, Miller said recently, which might have been what initially caught the patrolling deputy’s attention.
Deputies sought to make contact with the driver of the truck, and using Sheriff’s Department resources, learned the truck was a vehicle reported stolen from an elderly man who lives in the Bakersfield area.
“As deputies walked up to the vehicle, they observed a number of power tools and a large pry tool in the bed of the truck,” Miller said, noting the driver was also reportedly wearing gloves.
A records check of the truck’s occupants yielded that two of the occupants were on active probation: one for a burglary charge and one for a narcotics-related charge.
In addition to the warrants, deputies procured evidence that both the driver and one of the occupants allegedly drove the truck, prompting deputies to charge both individuals for driving the vehicle without the owner’s consent.
“Within the vehicle, they found gloves, pry tools, a scanner radio, methamphetamine, a crowbar, one set of key templates, a large yellow crowbar,” Miller said, “they also had a ski mask.”
The discovery of these items prompted deputies to contact Bakersfield P.D., which is when deputies discovered the outstanding charges.
When asked why the Bakersfield residents were in Santa Clarita, they indicated they were in town to sell a power tool to someone they knew in the area. They said they were in the closed shopping center at about 4 a.m. because they were looking for a restaurant, according to the Sheriff’s Station report.
The vehicle’s occupants were charges with reasonable cause, felony burglary; possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor; possession of narcotics paraphernalia, a misdemeanor; and possession of burglary tools, a misdemeanor. Two of the occupants were also charged with driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent, a felony.
Station officials praised the proactive work of the deputy in catching the suspicious behavior, and continue to conduct operations to cut down on commercial burglaries.
The Christmas Day arrests comes after several operations that have yielded arrests for Sheriff’s Station personnel.
Related story: Santa Clarita deputies arrest ID theft suspects in Valencia parking lot
Last Friday, a previous operation led to the arrest of a pair of identity theft suspects in the Valencia area.