Three Los Angeles residents were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing a pickup truck after police noticed a burglary tool during a routine traffic stop, authorities said.
Felix Flores, 24, and Patricia Ruiz, 18, were being held in the Ventura County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail each, a jail spokeswoman said. The 17-year-old male arrested with them was cited to appear in Juvenile Court and released to the custody of his parents, she said.
Deputy Rick Barrios of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department was on patrol at 2:50 a.m. when he noticed two pickup trucks traveling south on California 126, said Lt. Kathy Kemp of the Sheriff's Department.
Barrios stopped the rear truck and cited it for a traffic violation, Kemp said. Barrios then noticed a slam hammer--an instrument often used to punch out a vehicle's ignition so it can be started with a screwdriver--in the cab, Kemp said.
Barrios became suspicious and broadcast a description of both trucks to fellow deputies, Kemp said.
The front truck sped into a nearby field and two male occupants ran from it, Kemp said. He said one of the men is still at large. The front truck was found with its ignition punched out, he said.
The truck's registered owner was sleeping when his truck disappeared early Wednesday from the front of his residence on Clay Street in Fillmore, Kemp said.