Deputies Nab Bike-Riding Car Thief

Hollister – The San Benito County Sheriff’s Gang Suppression Unit nabbed a wanted car thief believed to be in the process of shopping for his next stolen ride.

Deputies arrested Hollister resident Hector Garcia, on his 24th birthday, on suspicion of felony car theft, possession of stolen property and misdemeanor possession of burglary tools and resisting arrest after finding the suspect riding bicycle and carrying a variety of tools used to steal cars shortly before midnight Friday.

When Gang Suppression deputies Johnny Peña and Rick Uribe approached Garcia, he tried to out run them on his bicycle, said Lt. Roy Iler. After crashing his bike on San Benito Street, Garcia then fled on foot to evade deputies. Garcia was eventually apprehended in the backyard of a San Benito Street home and arrested. During a search of his person, deputies found several “slim jims” used to unlock car doors and five “master keys” or filed down car keys often used to steal cars, Iler said.

Garcia was wanted by the Hollister police in connection with two car thefts in the last three weeks. Both times he was able to evade police after being caught driving the stolen cars, Iler said.

“This guy has stolen two cars in the last three weeks,” he said. “And we’re still investigating to see if any more stolen vehicles can be linked to him.”