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Friends become suspects, caught at gunpoint, in stolen vehicle scene on Santa Barbara Eastside

Stolen vehicle suspects arrested
John Palminteri
Three suspects were arrested at gunpoint on the Santa Barbara within minutes of a stolen vehicle report Tuesday evening. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Stolen vehicle arrest 1 April 7, 2020
John Palminteri
Three suspects were arrested at gunpoint on the Santa Barbara within minutes of a stolen vehicle report Tuesday evening. (Photo: John Palminteri)
Stolen vehicle arrest 2 April 7, 2020
John Palminteri
Three suspects were arrested at gunpoint on the Santa Barbara Eastside within minutes of a stolen vehicle report Tuesday evening. (Photo: John Palminteri)

UPDATE: After an investigation by the Santa Barbara Police department, in a meeting with the mother of a person involved in a suspected stolen vehicle, it was determined to be a miscommunication.

The vehicle had been reported stolen when it was spotted by police, and those involved were detained in a high profile stop with weapons drawn by officers, Tuesday night.

The occupants were taken to the police department and after a meeting with everyone involved, those detained were released.

(Previous information:)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Three suspected stolen vehicle suspects, believed to be teens and friends of the car owner, were caught on the Santa Barbara Eastside Tuesday night.

Details were still being sorted out at the scene on Milpas St. at the corner of Alphonse after the police stopped the vehicle about 7:10 p.m.

A 911 call came in from the driver of a vehicle following the suspected stolen car, who gave a description within moments of the reported theft.

The vehicle owner was reportedly with the trio at one point, got out and the car was taken.

Multiple police units saturated the area and the car, a Nissan Kick, was spotted within minutes.

The occupants were held at gunpoint while they were ordered individually our of the car.

The first person out yelled "I didn't do anything," as he backed up with his hands up and was detained by officers.

While this was happening a second person in the car got out, before any police orders and appeared to be walking away. Police shouted many commands to stop, get back in the car, and get on the ground. The young man did not comply and came face to face with a Taser before he was surrounded by several officers and handcuffed.

The driver then complied to commands and came out with his hands up and he was handcuffed.

There were no injuries during the incident.

Multiple police units blocked some of the lanes on Milpas Street near Ortega for about 10 minutes during the stop.

Police took all three suspects to the station for questioning along with registered owner.

Information at the scene suggested alcohol was contributing factor.

The vehicle was originally at Santa Barbara Junior High when the ordeal began.

Traffic was light at the time and there were no pedestrians nearby. This took place during the "Stay Well at Home" order issued by health officials and local leaders during the coronavirus crisis.

More details are expected Wednesday from the Santa Barbara Police Department.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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