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Stolen car suspect arrested after owner used phone app to locate vehicle

Stolen car suspect arrested after owner used phone app to locate vehicle

  • Updated

A man suspected of stealing a vehicle was arrested in Orcutt on Tuesday after the owner located the vehicle using a smartphone app, according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman. 

The vehicle, a white 2007 GMC truck, was reported stolen at about 4 p.m. Monday from a self-service car wash near the intersection of North Broadway and Orchard Street in Santa Maria after the owner left the keys inside the vehicle, according to Sgt. Andy Magallon.

The owner also left their cellphone inside the GMC and used a smartphone app to locate the vehicle, which was determined to be in the parking lot at the McDonald's in the 1100 block of East Clark Avenue. The owner then reported the vehicle's location to police. 

CHP units responded and located 46-year-old Julio Arroyo Jr. of Santa Maria driving the stolen GMC near Albertsons, at which point officers initiated a traffic stop nearby at the intersection of Patterson and South Bradley roads, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Smith. 

Several police cruisers, including from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, responded to the scene and surrounded the vehicle. 

Arroyo didn't immediately comply with officers' demands to exit the vehicle, but he was eventually "persuaded" to give himself up upon arrival of a sheriff's K-9 unit, said Smith, adding no force was used. 

Arroyo was arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft.

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