Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Deputy Chief Jim Hart talks Thursday about the ongoing search for an elusive Dimitri Storm, suspected of stealing 10 vehicles, evading police and a string of other crimes. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)
FELTON — Dimitri Storm, who has burglarized of dozens of vehicles, and stolen several others more, pointed a gun at one burglary victim and threatened a police officer, is thought to currently be in the San Lorenzo Valley area, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
Storm, 42, is known to have mental health issues, and possibly believes he is a police officer, Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Jim Hart told a group of media gathered Thursday for a briefing.
He is considered armed and dangerous.
Hart said that Storm has an extensive criminal history dating back to the 1980s, including drug charges, thefts, and indecent exposure, and making threats.
Although he grew up in the San Lorenzo Valley area, he reportedly has little contact with his family that still lives there, Hart said. Instead he is likely living hand-to-mouth and sticking to the areas around Boulder Creek, the Summit and the San Lorenzo Valley.
Storm is thought to be responsible for a crime spree that has stretched across six counties since March 31, when he allegedly began a string of auto burglaries when a resident caught him burglarizing his vehicle.
Since then Storm, who is listed as a transient, has allegedly burglarized 40 vehicles and stolen 10 of them.
He has also been spotted in Santa Clara, Marin, Monterey and San Benito counties, Hart said.
Storm was driving a stolen vehicle on Palo Colorado Canyon Road April 18 when he nearly struck Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies. He eluded the deputies who pursued him.
He is accused of threatening to shoot an officer in Sonoma County, where an officer shot him with a stun gun with no effect before he managed to escape.
In addition, Storm is known to carry guns, and firearms have been recovered from the stolen vehicles he has abandoned.
“We know Mr. Storm has been involved in criminal activities in at least six counties,” Hart said.
Hart said that anyone who sees Storm should immediately call 911.
“We want to urge the public not to confront this guy,” Hart said. “We have deputies working hard on this case, but really it will take the eyes and ears of the community to apprehend him.”
The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office on April 29 offered a $500 reward for information leading to Storm’s arrest.
Storm is known for removing license plates from vehicles and replacing them on vehicles he has stolen. He also burglarizes vehicles he finds unlocked and steals them when he finds the keys left inside, Hart said.
These “crimes of opportunity” have made it easier for Storm to commit numerous crimes, Hart said.
Storm was last seen on April 28 driving a white Toyota 4-Runner on Darma Ridge Road near Soquel-San Jose Road.
Dimitri Koa Storm is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and weighs 180 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.
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