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Ventura County

Suspects arrested on criminal charges in Port Hueneme released due to COVID-19

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PORT HUENEME, CALIF. - The Port Hueneme Police Department said a growing number of people arrested on various criminal charges have been released from prison because of the Coronavirus.

"Even those with long criminal histories have won release under various conditions related to an “Emergency Bail Schedule”, mandating $0 bail for most misdemeanors and felonies. Some of these offenders are often released within hours after being transported to the Ventura County Jail,", according to the Port Hueneme Police Department.

 The inability to keep those arrested in custody is contributing to an increase in thefts, burglaries, and stolen vehicles, the Port Hueneme Police Department said on Facebook.

On Monday May 4, officers arrested Feliciano Garcia, 29, inside a reported stolen vehicle. Officers located several credit card readers, desk telephones, and various electronic cables inside the vehicle. Garcia was released from custody approximately three hours later.

On Sunday May 3rd at 3 a.m., a Port Hueneme resident was awoken to the sound of someone trying to pry open a rear door to her residence. When the suspects were unable to make entry into the home, they forced entry into an attached garaged and stole property, according to the Police Department. When Port Hueneme Patrol Officers responded to the 911 call, they located the suspects, Martin Ipatzi, 27, and Silvestre Virrueta, 25, hiding inside a stolen vehicle. Less than two weeks prior to the Port Hueneme burglary, both subjects were arrested for weapons violations, including possession of a shotgun by the Oxnard Police Department.

On Sunday May 3 at 10 p.m., Officers were called to suspicious circumstances in the 1700 block of Kern Street. Inside a stolen vehicle they located Gustavo Aguilar, 30, who was arrested for possession of narcotics and burglary tools.

On April 26, 2020 Port Hueneme Patrol Officers located an occupied stolen vehicle. A vehicle pursuit took place throughout Ventura County and ended safely in Thousand Oaks. Eugene Sawyer, 45, and Alicia Moyer, 39, were arrested Sunday evening and were back at the Port Hueneme Police Department the next morning to pick up property from the station.

The Port Hueneme Police Department said it has increased their staffing during this state of emergency to help address this trend and protect its citizens.

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Bryce Hanamoto

Bryce Hanamoto is a producer and digital journalist for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Bryce, click here.

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