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Suspected Car Thief Chased Down, Arrested

March 21, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A 19-year-old man was arrested Monday on suspicion of burglary, attempted auto theft and assault with a deadly weapon after a woman unlocked her car at a downtown Ventura parking garage and found him inside, police said.

Martin Hernandez Jr. fled the scene at 555 E. Santa Clara St. about 12:30 p.m. but was stopped by two employees of the nearby Ventura Theater, who had walked to the garage after hearing that someone was breaking into cars, police said.

Jeffrey Hershey, 19, and Travis Foster, 23, tried to detain Hernandez, but he brandished a pair of scissors and threatened to stab anyone who tried to stop him, Ventura Police Sgt. Dave Wilson said.

Hershey and Foster chased Hernandez through downtown Ventura and one of them used a cellular telephone to call police, Wilson said.

Hernandez, a Ventura resident, was arrested by officers near Poli and Cedar streets. He was being held in Ventura County Jail on Monday night in lieu of $40,000 bail.

The owner of the car, 38-year-old Maria Pierce, was not injured.

Authorities believe Hernandez broke into at least two cars in the parking garage Monday. They said he was carrying property that may have been stolen during other vehicle burglaries.

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