A Granada Hills man is in custody after Castaic residents called to report someone attempting to break into a vehicle parked in a Ridge Top Lane driveway.
When deputies arrived, the man was gone, but a silver Toyota Avalon parked in the street matched the description of a car seen at other vehicle burglaries in Santa Clarita.
Deputies checked the car and found the engine was warm and the car contained a significant amount of potentially stolen property, including numerous cell phones, purses, GPS systems and other electronics. In addition, the car had been reported stolen from Northridge in March.
As they checked the neighborhood, deputies found Mark Rodriguez, 26, of Granada Hills, who was detained and later identified as the man seen breaking into vehicles. It was discovered that Rodriguez was on felony parole. He was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of an unlawful weapon, felon in possession of ammunition, grand theft, grand theft auto and receiving stolen property. He also faces possible charges of possession of marijuana, possession of narcotic paraphernalia and possession of burglary tools.
He is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on Feb. 11. In addition to the items mentioned above, deputies also recovered iPods, jewelry, purses, cameras, wallets, MP3 players and other valuables which they believe were stolen in several other Santa Clarita vehicle burglaries. This incident occurred the night of Jan. 16.
Early Sunday January 24, deputies were patrolling in the area of Whites Canyon and Delight Street in Canyon Country when they spotted two men sitting in a parked car in a residential neighborhood at 2 a.m. When the deputies stopped to talk to the men, they started the car and sped off. Deputies followed the car to Crosspath Avenue where both occupants bailed out and began running. Several deputies converged on the area and a containment was established. The deputies determined the car had been stolen that same night from the North Hills area and had not yet been reported.
A lengthy yard-to-yard search was conducted, but the suspects were not located. Deputies remained in the area and sometime later a Santa Clarita Sheriff’s patrol sergeant spotted a man near a parked vehicle in a residential driveway. The man attempted to hide by crawling underneath the truck, but the sergeant quickly detained him. The original deputies positively identified the man as the driver of the earlier stolen vehicle.
The man, Saul Sanchez, 21, a suspected gang member from Panorama City, was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on suspicion of felony taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent and misdemeanor under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, loitering on private property and resisting or obstructing a peace officer. He is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Santa Clarita Superior Court on February 19.