In three separate episodes since Sunday, stolen cars or trucks were recovered in Hemet before the owners realized they had been taken, a police sergeant said today.
Six people have been arrested in connection with the vehicle heists, Hemet police Sgt. Eddie Pust said.
A GMC Sierra pickup truck was recovered on Christmas Day following a predawn 100 mph chase through the west end of the city, Pust said.
An officer on patrol spotted the truck speeding on westbound Devonshire Avenue at about 1:23 a.m. and chased the driver, who eventually pulled over at Serenity and Provence streets.
Hemet resident Ramon Guillen, 25, was arrested for suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle and evading an officer, Pust said.
On Monday, Christmas Eve, an officer received a call at 2:30 a.m. about suspicious activity on San Francisco Street and caught four suspects unloading a Pontiac Grand Am. Police determined the suspects had stolen the car from an occupied Las Flores Street home in Hemet, Pust said.
Melissa Vincent, 27, was arrested for suspicion of possessing stolen property. Her alleged accomplices, Maricelas Delacerda, 33, Clayton Graves, 26, and Ashley McElwain, 25, were also arrested for a number of alleged offenses that included being under the influence of a controlled substance and violation of probation.
On Sunday night, a report of shots fired resulted in officers spotting a suspect speeding away in a stolen brown Saturn. It collided with another vehicle at San Francisco Street and Johnston Avenue, where a second vehicle hit the hot Saturn’s driver’s door.
The suspected car thief was seen trying to escape through a passenger window but was caught and taken to an area hospital for treatment of injuries, Pust said.
One count of possessing stolen property will be filed against Hemet resident Samuel Jack Sala, 27, who carried 17 shaved keys to steal cars, Pust said.
No other injuries were reported.