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Residents, deputies keep stopping SCV crime

Posted: January 28, 2010 11:57 a.m.
Updated: January 28, 2010 4:40 p.m.

In two separate incidents in January, proactive deputies and watchful residents nabbed suspected car burglars and thieves in the Santa Clarita Valley.

During the first incident on Saturday, Jan. 16, deputies responded to the 32800 block of Ridge Top Lane - unincorporated Los Angeles County, Castaic, to a resident's report that she saw a man attempting to break into her car which was parked in the driveway.

When deputies arrived in the area the suspect was gone, but one of the deputies noticed a silver Toyota Avalon parked on the street that matched the description of a car seen at other vehicle burglaries in Santa Clarita.

The deputies checked the car and found it contained a substantial amount of property including numerous cell phones, purses, GPS systems and other electronics. They also found the engine was warm. The car had been reported stolen in March 2009 from the Northridge area.

Deputies began checking the neighborhood and one of them spotted a man hiding in the back seat of another vehicle parked in a driveway in the 32800 block of Ridge Top Lane. The suspect, Mark Rodriguez, MH/26, of Granada Hills, was detained and the investigation continued.

Witnesses identified the man as the person they had seen entering vehicles. The man was arrested on felony charges of Possession of an Unlawful Weapon, Felon in Possession of Ammunition, Reasonable Cause Grand Theft, Grand Theft Auto and Reasonable Cause Receiving Stolen Property.

He also faces potential misdemeanor charges of Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Narcotic Paraphernalia, and Possession of Burglary Tools. Rodriguez was also on felony parole. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in Santa Clarita Superior Court on Feb. 11.

Deputies recovered more than 100 items of evidence including cellphones, iPods, jewelry, purses, GPS systems, cameras, wallets, MP3 players, and other valuables, all of which they believe were stolen in several other Santa Clarita vehicle burglaries.

In a second unrelated incident on Sunday Jan. 24, deputies were patrolling in the area of Whites Canyon and Delight Street in Canyon Country when they spotted two men sitting in a parked car in a residential neighborhood at 2 a.m.

When the deputies stopped to talk to the men, they started the car and sped off. Deputies followed the car to Crosspath Avenue where both occupants bailed out and began running. Several deputies converged on the area and a containment was established. The deputies determined the car had been stolen that same night from the North Hills area and had not yet been reported.

A lengthy yard-to-yard search was conducted, but the suspects were not located.

Deputies remained in the area and sometime later a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's patrol sergeant spotted a man near a parked vehicle in a residential driveway. The man attempted to hide by crawling underneath the truck, but the sergeant quickly detained him. The original deputies positively identified the man as the driver of the earlier stolen vehicle.

The man, Saul Sanchez, MH/21, a suspected gang member from Panorama City, was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on a felony charge of Taking a Vehicle Without the Owner's Consent and misdemeanor charges of being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Narcotic Paraphernalia, Loitering on Private Property, and Resisting or Obstructing a Peace Officer.

Sanchez is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Santa Clarita Superior Court on Feb. 19.


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