Recent operations by the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force in Turlock resulted in the arrest of three suspected auto thieves and the recovery of two stolen vehicles.
Both operations were conducted on April 29, with one involving the assistance of the California State University, Stanislaus Police Department, and the other with the help of the California Highway Patrol.
The first incident began when StanCATT and the university police spotted a stolen car in Turlock. While watching the vehicle, two suspects got into the car and drove away.
Law enforcement followed the vehicle to a 7-11 on Geer Road and W. Minnesota Avenue, where the driver and the passenger were taken into custody without any incident, StanCATT reported.
The driver, identified as Joshua Haidar, 30, was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, and for a parole violation.
The passenger, identified as Elisa Flores, 37, was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, and a parole violation. Flores also was charged with possession of counterfeit U. S. currency when the officers found she was holding phony cash.
Authorities arrested a second suspected auto thief that day when they spotted a stolen Cadillac Escalade.
The Cadillac Escalade had been reported stolen the day prior from a residential burglary in Turlock. StanCATT set up surveillance of the vehicle and called in a marked CHP patrol car when the driver started heading towards Denair.
According to the StanCATT report, as soon as the marked CHP patrol car got behind the Cadillac, the driver started driving recklessly.
The driver pulled turned on a street that ended up being a housing court, with no other exits. The driver stopped the car and jumped out of the vehicle, hoping to make an escape on foot, but he was caught before getting to far, StanCATT reported.
The driver was identified as Sean Oliva, 34. He was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting arrest.
As of Friday afternoon, Oliva was still in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail in lieu of an $80,000 bail. He has a court date set for May 12 and is facing a possible second strike conviction, according to court records.
Flores and Haidar have been released from custody on bail and have a court date set for May 28.