CHP: Man arrested after stealing vehicle, hit-and-run on freeway 

A Kathy's Landscaping truck was damaged on Tuesday after it was reportedly stolen and pursued by the owners. Courtesy photo.
A Kathy's Landscaping truck was damaged on Tuesday after it was reportedly stolen and pursued by the owners. Courtesy photo.
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Vehicle owners pursue stolen truck on Highway 14 using GPS tracker, ‘mayhem’ unfolds 

A 22-year-old Sylmar man was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft on Tuesday morning following a hit-and-run on Highway 14, according to Officer Josh Greengard, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol Newhall-area office. 

A maintenance truck was stolen from workers with Kathy’s Landscaping at about 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday while the workers were at a job at the Chili’s on Golden Valley Road in Canyon Country, Alex Corral, head sales representative for Kathy’s Landscaping, told The Signal in a phone interview. 

The workers, knowing the truck had GPS installed, told the owner, Tomas Robles, who was able to track the stolen truck along with Corral. The two began pursuing the truck as it traveled southbound on Highway 14, according to Corral. 

“We called 911, they had us on the phone, we were trying to direct them to where our car was,” Corral said. “Myself and Tomas took off, because we knew where the truck was going. It was going on the 14 south towards L.A.” 

While in pursuit, Corral said he witnessed the truck hit multiple cars before exiting at Newhall Avenue. The vehicle sustained heavy damage as a result, Corral said, with the hood folded over the front windshield. 

A Kathy's Landscaping truck was damaged on Tuesday after it was reportedly stolen and pursued by the owners. Courtesy photo.
A Kathy’s Landscaping truck was damaged on Tuesday after it was reportedly stolen and pursued by the owners. Courtesy photo.

Greengard confirmed the report of a stolen vehicle, a Toyota Tacoma, in an email to The Signal and that there were multiple calls that came in regarding a hit-and-run on the freeway. 

Robles then attempted to confront the driver, leading to a bloody altercation and a second try at a pursuit, Corral said. 

“There was an altercation where Tomas went to the vehicle, opened the door and tried to pull him out,” Corral said. “The individual made an aggressive advance towards him and tried to hit him, and we were right there on the border of traffic. So, he ended up hitting the individual, he hit him very hard and he ended up causing the individual to have a split on his forehead, so he was bleeding. He ended up getting in the car and drive again, almost running the owner over.” 

The truck then led the two back on Highway 14, exiting once again at Sand Canyon Road and stopping at the Arco gas station in front of Denny’s, Corral said. That’s when the driver seemingly gave up, telling Corral and Robles that he needed to be taken to the hospital, he said. 

CHP officers arrived moments later, according to Corral, and arrested the suspect. 

“When they came off the freeway, they didn’t know who was who, of course, because we’re all standing there,” Corral said. “So, they drew their guns, they had us get down, sit down with our hands up and they had him lay down. And that’s where they had made that arrest.” 

A Kathy's Landscaping truck was damaged on Tuesday after it was reportedly stolen and pursued by the owners. Pictured here is the suspect after he was arrested by CHP officers at the Arco gas station on Sand Canyon Road just off of Highway 14. Courtesy photo.
A Kathy’s Landscaping truck was damaged on Tuesday after it was reportedly stolen and pursued by the owners. Pictured here is the suspect after he was arrested by CHP officers at the Arco gas station on Sand Canyon Road just off of Highway 14. Courtesy photo.

Greengard’s email confirms Corral’s account of the incident. 

“It was determined the suspect … stole the victim’s Toyota Tacoma, within the 19000 block parking lot of Golden Valley Road,” Greengard said in the email. “(The suspect) fled the scene, was involved in a traffic collision on the freeway before being detained by CHP Newhall personnel.”    

The entire incident unfolded over 45 minutes from the time the truck was stolen to the arrest, according to Corral. He added that there were probably three cars that were struck by the suspect during the pursuit. 

“I think we got a total of like three different calls on cars he hit, so it was a big ordeal,” Corral said. “He was just causing mayhem all over the 14 freeway.” 

In terms of disrupting business, Corral said it was just a hassle and that because of the GPS tracker, which is installed in all company vehicles, they weren’t too worried at the time. 

The bigger issue that Corral sees is the increase in crime in the area, with another company truck having its catalytic converter stolen recently. 

“Any time something happens in Santa Clarita, it’s always shocking, but crime is up everywhere,” Corral said. “You hear about it, then it happens to one of our trucks, so now we put a protective cage on it, and now this happened. So, it seems like people are getting really desperate.” 

The suspect was released on Tuesday without bail after being booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. 

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