Beer thieves arrested when SPPD Officer stops at convenience store

March 07, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula Times A Santa Paula teenager found himself on the losing end of a beer run Monday evening when he ran out of an area convenience store chased by a clerk and was confronted by a Santa Paula Police Officer who had stopped at the convenience store for something to drink.

The incident led to the arrest of two suspects, one found waiting in a car parked nearby.

According to SPPD Sgt. Cody Madison, the incident occurred March 3 shortly before 9 p.m. when Officer William Pickett stopped at the Circle K gas station/convenience store-located at the corner of Peck Road and West Harvard Boulevard-to buy a drink.

“Officer Pickett had just arrived when he observed a 16-year-old male juvenile coming out of the front door in a rush,” carrying an 18-pack of beer in each hand.

Madison noted that the teenager was being chased by a clerk and “Officer Pickett realized this as a theft in progress and chased the juvenile to a waiting vehicle,” parked on nearby Felkins Road, southwest of the convenience store.

The driver of the vehicle was about to drive off until he spotted the officer and then he put the vehicle back into park. 

Madison said both suspects were taken into custody without incident.

The juvenile and the driver of the vehicle, 23-year-old Jose Hernandez of Santa Paula, were arrested for suspicion of commercial burglary and conspiracy, the latter charge stemming from what Madison said police believe was a planned attempt to steal beer. 

Hernandez was booked into the Ventura County Jail and the juvenile was taken to Juvenile Hall.

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