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Resident catches burglars, smashes their vehicle

Modified: Tuesday, Apr 2nd, 2013


Watsonville police take part in Project Rope along Highway 1 Tuesday in hopes of snaring a suspect in an interrupted home burglary in Soquel. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)


SOQUEL — A man was caught burglarizing a home in the Santa Cruz Mountains and fled in a vehicle with a license plate stolen from a Watsonville firefighter.

The resident who caught the burglars in the act managed to smash at least one of the vehicle’s rear-view mirrors and one window, emergency dispatchers reported.

Dispatchers also reported that the suspects dropped a bag of stolen goods during their run to the waiting vehicle.

The suspects reportedly had a handgun and may have used the gun during the burglary, dispatchers reported.

Soon after the burglary was reported, dispatchers ordered Project ROPE, in which all available law enforcement monitors major roads.

The silver Lexus was found later at a home on Hall Ranch Road near Jarvis Road, which is in the hills north of Scotts Valley. A light blue 1997 Ford Explorer had been stolen in its place.

The suspect is described as a white male about 5 feet, 5 inches tall wearing a beanie and a sports jacket.

He could be driving a 1997 light blue Ford Explorer with tinted windows and a trailer hitch and a license plate of 3TIC192.

In similar situations, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy April Skalland said it’s better to get as much suspect information as possible, but to leave chasing them to law enforcement.

“We never want anyone to put themselves in harm's way,” she said. “Who knows who this guy is and what he’s capable of? Nothing is worth risking your life over. Property can always be replaced.”

This story will be updated.

•••

Anyone with information is asked to call the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at 454-2311, or the anonymous tip line at 454-2847.

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