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Police beat: Car thieves pick the wrong car

A pair of wannabe car thieves picked the wrong car to steal on Saturday, Sept. 4. Shortly after 9 p.m., a motorist parked their 2018 Suburban in the lot in the Maxwell Village Shopping Center in the 19000 block of Sonoma Highway. The motorist wasn’t gone long when witnesses saw two people jump in the vehicle and take off with it.

The vehicle was equipped with an OnStar system, and the owner activated it and allowed the police to track the vehicle to Napa where the pair were stopped by the Napa constabulary and promptly arrested.

During a search of the vehicle, the police found what they suspected was a small amount of methamphetamine and a large number of master keys in a backpack.

The pair received a chauffeured ride back to Sonoma County. Caleb Lane, 29, of West Sacramento, and Michelle Lopez, 40, of Sonoma, were both charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle, felony conspiracy, and felony possession of burglary tools. Lane also was charged with driving with a suspended license. They were booked into county jail.

In other incidents reported to Sonoma police recently:

Wednesday, Aug. 18:

3:05 p.m. – A woman left her wallet on the counter of a business in the 400 block of First Street East, and when she realized her wallet was missing, she returned to see if anyone had turned it in. But nobody had. Later she found that somebody ran up almost $15,100 in charges in Sacramento. Among the purchases was a $650 Bitcoin purchase. The Sheriff’s Property Crimes Unit is working with the woman’s bank to investigate.

Thursday, Aug. 19:

2:01 p.m. – A resident in the 900 block of First Street East reported that an unknown person had opened fraudulent accounts in their name and they received emails from Walmart and Target about items that the victim hadn’t ordered. The victim canceled the accounts. There is no suspect information.

Saturday, Aug. 21:

8:10 a.m. – A resident in the 400 block of East Napa Street heard a loud noise at around 2 a.m., and when they left the house later that morning, they saw that the rear window in their vehicle was shattered. Police don’t know what caused the broken window.

Thursday, Aug. 26:

9:06 a.m. – A guest at a motel in the 500 block of Second Street West reported that when they returned to the room the previous evening, the front door to the room was open and they were missing two iPads, an Apple pencil, a Lenovo laptop and a Nintendo Switch. The estimated value of the missing electronics was $3,100.

9:07 a.m. – A resident in the 200 block of Bettencourt Street reported that an unknown someone took $500 in tools from an unlocked truck toolbox in their pickup.

1:11 p.m. – A Sonoma resident reported that an unknown suspect used their driver’s license to rent a storage unit in San Francisco, where the victim used to live. The victim discovered the ruse when they received a notice of lien and foreclosure for a past due bill of $217. The incident is under investigation.

3:10 p.m. – A Sonoma Overlook Trail volunteer reported that someone had vandalized a metal sign and the signpost. The damage was estimated at $400.

Wednesday, Aug. 31:

5:17 p.m. – A resident in the 300 block of Arroyo Way reported that the catalytic converter from their Ford pickup had been stolen. The suspects fled in a dark-colored sedan.

Thursday, Sept. 2:

9:41 p.m. – An employee at a Plaza restaurant reported that sometime between 4:30 and 9:30 p.m., an unknown suspect smashed a window in their vehicle and made off with a backpack containing a MacBook Air, headphones and other property with an estimated value of $1,080. There are no suspects.

Saturday, Sept. 4:

12:14 a.m. – An 18-year-old Sonoma teen was arrested on charges of driving under the influence after the vehicle he was driving crashed into a parked truck in the 400 block of Seventh Street West. The suspect, who was driving a gray BMW and had a minor passenger on board, rear-ended a parked flatbed truck. The minor complained of pain as a result of the accident. Police administered field sobriety tests, which the motorist reportedly failed, and then administered a preliminary alcohol screening that registered .09. At the police station, the 18-year-old reportedly blew a .08 and a .08 on a Breathalyzer. The motorist was arrested on charges of felony driving under the influence and cruelty to a child.

Sunday, Sept. 5

11:46 a.m. – A resident in the 400 block of First Street East reported that sometime between 9 p.m., the night before and 10 a.m. that morning, someone stole his 1973 Dodge Charger with a black racing stripe. The owner had the keys to the vehicle. There is no suspect information.

Monday, Sept. 6:

A resident in the 19000 block of Robinson Road reported the theft of a Trek mountain bike from an open garage. The bike was valued at $1,000.

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