Suspect in stolen car captured, pedestrian hit

November 06, 2015
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paula Police pursuit suspended Wednesday because of the danger of the speed and reckless driving of the suspect ended when the stolen vehicle he was driving struck a pedestrian. A SPPD Officer and his K9 took the suspect into custody on his last day of work.

The November 4 incident occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. according to SPPD Sgt. Jeremy Watson, the day after a 55-year-old resident reported his 1986 Honda Accord had allegedly been stolen by a known suspect, 21-year-old Steven Claudio.

“A stolen vehicle report was taken and the information was passed on to SPPD Patrol Officers,” said the next day an officer “spotted the stolen vehicle on West Santa Paula Street” and conducted a registration check while the officer continued to follow the vehicle through the city.

The vehicle was confirmed to the stolen one reported.

Watson said because the suspect was known it was decided to conduct a high-risk stop on the vehicle so the officer following the car waited for additional units to arrive.

“As officers attempted to stop the vehicle in the area of Harvard Boulevard and Palm Avenue the driver failed to yield,” and officers followed the vehicle onto westbound Highway 126 where a pursuit ensued.

Watson said the suspect exited the highway at Peck Road and “continued to flee north at a high rate of speed, running red lights and passing other vehicles on the opposite side of the roadway…”

As the vehicle neared Peck Road and Santa Paula Street “it was determined that the pursuit was too dangerous to continue and it was called off,” and as officers stopped their pursuit, the driver continued traveling at a high rate of speed, running stop signs and passing other vehicles on the left and right. 

Watson said, “A short time later a SPPD Officer came across the scene of a collision,” with a pedestrian, “in the area of Santa Paula Street and Bradley,” where the vehicle involved was found to the stolen vehicle.

`The vehicle noted Watson, continued onto the lawn of the residence on the northeast corner and “collided into a boat trailer. The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot, north on Bradley and out of view of witnesses in the area.”

A perimeter was quickly established and approximately 20 minutes later Claudio was located hiding behind a residence in the 100 block of Pleasant Street and apprehended with the assistance of a police K-9. 

Watson said the female collision victim was transported to the Santa Paula Hospital with non-life threatening injuries and “is expected to fully recover. The suspect was transported to the Santa Paula Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained during his apprehension.”

Upon being cleared from the hospital, Claudio was transported to the SPPD and booked on the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, evading a peace officer/reckless driving, hit and run with injuries and being an unlicensed driver. He was later transported and lodged at Ventura County Jail.

An unidentified woman that had been in the vehicle with the suspect was also transported to the hospital for minor injuries; although it was found she had a misdemeanor warrant she was released because she had identified the suspect. But was arrested later after she left the facility and stole items from the backyard of a residence.

Watson noted the unusual incident had another twist: “Senior Officer Johnson and his K9 Zak found and apprehended the suspect on the officer’s last day of work…”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.