Suspected car thief arrested minutes after heist

1400 Block of Broadway

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A suspected car thief was arrested only minutes after an alleged heist early Wednesday.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled over a green Honda Civic just before 1 a.m. Wednesday driven by 41-year-old Samuel Fuentes.

Deputies say they found Fuentes in possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and 'shave keys' commonly used to steal vehicles.

Fuentes then admitted he had stolen the car only minutes prior to the traffic stop, deputies said.

He is now in the Santa Barbara County Jail facing grand theft auto charges and is without bail due to a parole violation.

The green Honda has since been returned to its owner.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office wants to remind residents to lock their vehicles, use anti-theft devices, and keep valuables out of plain view.


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