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Auto theft suspect found in police vehicle
Anthony Ayala
Anthony Ayala

A Turlock man managed to avoid capture after being caught trying to break into a vehicle outside a pawn shop, but his luck ran out when he broke into a police patrol car at the Turlock Police Department.

The suspect was identified by the police department as Anthony Ayala, 37.

According to the police report, Ayala tried to steal a vehicle around 11 p.m. Tuesday outside of Mid Valley Pawn at 270 W. Main Street. Video surveillance alerted an individual to the attempted theft and the police were notified, but Ayala had fled the area before the officers arrived.

A short time later Ayala allegedly snuck into the police department’s secure parking lot and got into one of the patrol cars. Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman said it was unknown how Ayala managed to gain access to the secure lot.

An officer in her vehicle in the lot noticed movement in one of the patrol cars and went to check it out, which is when she found Ayala. He claimed he only broke into the patrol car to keep warm, Holeman said.

Ayala was arrested on suspicion of attempted auto theft, tampering with a vehicle and trespassing. He also was taken into custody for a parole hold.