CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office reported that deputies recovered stolen property after two suspects were arrested after being spotted driving a stolen vehicle on Saturday, Jan. 25.
The deputy was reportedly driving southbound on the U.S. 101 near Santa Claus Lane when he saw a black Chevrolet Malibu that matched the description of the car belonging to a vehicle theft suspect.
The suspect allegedly stole several cars from the Los Alamos, Gaviota and Goleta areas.
The deputy followed the Chevy Malibu and discovered that the license plate on it matched the plate a car that was reported stolen in San Jose.
As the deputy was following the car, the driver began swerving in and out of traffic and gained distance ahead of the deputy. The car then crashed into another vehicle just before the Reynolds offramp.
Witnesses told the deputies that two suspects exited the suspect car and ran towards Cramer Road. The deputies followed and found a woman in the area of Carpinteria Avenue and Sandyland Cover. The suspect was taken into custody.
Deputies continued searching the area for the second suspect. Witnesses then told the deputies that a man had run behind a housing complex on the 4200 block of Carpinteria Avenue.
Multiple deputies and a Sheriff's K9 and County Air Support were deployed to search the area. They found the suspect hiding in the bushes. He was taken into custody shortly after without incident.
The female suspect, identified as 19-year-old Emily Rodriguez of San Francisco, was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail for vehicle theft. She has since posted bail.
The male suspect, identified as 24-year-old Jamal Rutledge of Richmond, is in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail for misdemeanors including possession of stolen property, possession of known stolen property, petty theft, trespassing, theft of property and vandalism. He is now being charged with vehicle theft and burglary.
The Sheriff's Office said Rutledge is also being held on two felony warrants from the Richmond Police Department for possession of a firearm (no bail), and felon in possession of firearm, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle and carrying a loaded firearm in public (bail $150,000).
Stolen items recovered
The Sheriff's Office said that deputies have been working throughout the week to match items found in the stolen vehicle to items that were reported stolen to the State Parks and Santa Barbara Police Departments.
After their inventory, deputies were left with items they believe to be stolen but not reported.
The Sheriff's Office is encouraging victims who have not yet reported their property stolen from their car on Saturday, Jan. 25, to file a report on the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office website.
Deputies would also like to thank the witnesses that helped in the apprehension of these suspects for keeping a safe distance and describing what they saw.