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3 Thefts Reported Within 2 Hours

November 06, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

In less than two hours Thursday, police officers responded to three reports of stolen property, including one case in which a vehicle thief returned to the crime scene three times and demanded reward money.

The first case occurred when a Ventura man who lives in the 700 block of Cedar Street awoke to find that his truck had been stolen, Ventura Police Sgt. Bob Velez said.

The thief came to the home twice and demanded money from the owner's son, Velez said. About 11 a.m., the robber returned a third time, told the father he had found the truck and then demanded cash at gunpoint. When the victim refused to comply, the thief left with the truck, Velez said.

The truck was found abandoned with its driver's side window shattered in the parking lot of the Greyhound bus station at 291 E. Thompson Blvd. Investigators have a good description and strong leads in the case, Velez said.

Shortly after 11 a.m., officers were called to the Motel 6 at 2145 E. Harbor Blvd. to investigate a report of tools stolen from a vehicle. While officers talked to the victim, a Honda pulled into the parking lot, Velez said.

Thinking the couple in the car looked suspicious, police checked the vehicle. They spotted a crack cocaine pipe in the car and pawn shop slips listing the tools that had been stolen, Velez said. In addition, police discovered that the Honda had been stolen in Washington and that its license plates had been stolen in Oxnard.

They arrested James Lee Penner, 21, and Amy Gamboa, 24, on suspicion of a number of crimes, including burglary, auto theft and forgery. Both were being sought on warrants issued in Washington and remained in jail Thursday night.

In the third incident, two 14-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy were arrested about 1 p.m. after a utility company crew that was listening to a police scanner spotted a van reported to be stolen. The crew called police, who found the van and the teens outside the Buenaventura Mall.

The three boys told police they were gang members. The older boy is on probation for armed robbery and one of the 14-year-olds is on probation for theft. It was unclear Thursday evening whether they would be booked into Juvenile Hall or cited and released.

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