A man from Lake Elsinore and a woman from Temecula are behind bars on suspicion of stealing a car from San Bernardino and driving it to Temecula, officials reported.
Officers were called regarding a stolen vehicle on Sunday Aug. 19 at noon in the area of Old Town after the owner of the car tracked it to the city of Temecula via his GPS tracking device in the vehicle.
Temecula Police officers located the unoccupied car tucked in an alley near Old Town Front Street, Sgt. Jon Wade said in a released statement.
Surveillance was set up and a short time later officers watched as a male and female entered the car and drove away.
Officers attempted to pull 27-year-old Joseph Lavallee over and he drove away from officers at very slow speeds around Old Town before stopping and surrendering at the Circle K market on Rancho California Road and Old Town Front Street, Sgt. Wade added.
A female passenger, Lisa Wehus, 24, was also detained. Her two-year-old son was rescued unharmed from the backseat of the car.
Wehus was arrested for being under the influence of drugs and for child endangerment. The toddler was taken into protective custody and later released to his biological father.
Both Wehus and Lavallee were subsequently booked into the Southwest Detention Center on multiple charges.
The registered owner of the vehicle responded to the scene and took possession of his vehicle.
Anyone with additional details regarding this ongoing investigation is urged to contact the Temecula Police Department at 951-696-3000.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.