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Authorities are offering a cash reward for information leading to the prosecution of the person or people who throughout 2019 have thrown objects at dozens of moving cars along Highways 156 and 101 through San Benito and Monterey counties. 

Since February, 68 motorists have reported that their vehicles have been hit by the objects or projectiles in the Prunedale area, according to Capt. Kyle Foster of the California Highway Patrol’s Monterey Office. The incidents have continued into 2020, as a motorist reported an incident at about 8pm Jan. 5.

That incident occurred near US 101 and Dunbarton Road, less than a mile south of the Red Barn Flea Market in San Benito County. The motorist reported that someone threw an object at a moving SUV, resulting in a shattered driver’s side window and no injuries, Foster said.

The CHP continues to investigate the ongoing incidents, some of which have resulted in minor injuries and vehicle damage, Foster said.

Investigators so far have not gotten a description of the suspect or suspects responsible, and are seeking the public’s help. The CHP is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the party or parties responsible.

The projectiles have been reported primarily in San Benito County on Highway 156, in the area of Rocks Road, Foster said. Others have been reported farther south along Highways 156 and 101 in the Prunedale area, as far south as Pesante Road on 101.

“We are very fortunate that no one has been seriously hurt,” reads a Dec. 17 post on the CHP Monterey office’s Facebook page.

In each of the 68 incidents, motorists reported that something struck their vehicle as they were traveling along the route. The CHP offers the following advice for motorists who are victimized by future incidents:

• Keep vehicle windows up when traveling through the suspected area to prevent projectiles from entering;

• If your vehicle is struck, turn on your hazard lights and pull to the right shoulder of the roadway. Call 911 immediately and do not disturb any physical evidence;

• If your vehicle is struck and you feel unsafe pulling over, Foster recommends getting off the highway at the next exit and dialing 911.

“We want to assure the public that our task force, as well as our patrol officers, are diligently working on this investigation each day; it remains our top priority as we continue to focus on public safety,” reads a Jan. 6 post on the CHP Monterey office’s Facebook page. “We are following up on numerous leads each day. This investigation has been long and arduous, but we are hopeful we will be able to bring it to a close soon.”

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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