El Cajon PD Uses New Technology to Arrest 10 Stolen Vehicle Suspects in a Week

El Cajon Police cruiser
An El Cajon Police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

Three adults and seven juveniles were arrested over the course of a week on stolen vehicle allegations, the El Cajon Police Department reported Thursday.

The ECPD recently started an automated license plate reading system using cameras to send a real-time alert to law enforcement when a stolen vehicle, or known wanted vehicle, from a state or national database is detected.

The following arrests were made using information from the license plate reading system:

— Around 12:45 p.m. last Thursday, 27-year-old Tedy Galvan Rocha of San Diego was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft after he was allegedly found driving a stolen 2014 BMW X5, according to ECPD Lt. Jeremiah Larson.

— Around 7:30 p.m. that day, officers were alerted to a stolen 2014 Mercedes-Benz sedan, Larson said. “The vehicle was found and five juveniles ran from the vehicle,” Larson said. “With the help of the sheriff’s helicopter unit, all five juveniles were arrested. Three of the five were reported as runaways and all were released to their parents.”

— Around 1:45 p.m. Sunday, 38-year-old National City resident Lorenzo Escoto was arrested for allegedly driving a stolen 2000 Honda CRV, Larson said. Escoto has a lengthy arrest record and allegedly had stolen mail in the vehicle.

— Around 9:30 p.m. Monday, 56-year-old Ricardo Benavidez of El Cajon was arrested for allegedly driving a stolen 1994 Nissan Sentra near Jamacha Road and Lexington Avenue.

— Around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, officers found a stolen 2017 Kia Rio in the area of 1500 East Main Street. Two juveniles ran from the vehicle and were later arrested with the help of the sheriff’s helicopter. One of the juveniles, who was on probation, was booked into Juvenile Hall. The other was released to a parent.

Anyone with information about the vehicle thefts was asked to contact the El Cajon Police Department at 619-579-3311. Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 888-580-8477.

–City News Service