Police: Man arrested after trying to steal occupied vehicle

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Police briefs

A man allegedly tried to steal a pickup parked at a Morgan Hill shopping center, while the vehicle’s owner was napping in the back seat. 

Morgan Hill Police were called to the Home Depot, 860 E. Dunne Ave., about 1:12 p.m. in response to a call reporting suspicious circumstances, according to Morgan Hill Police Sgt. Ray Ramos. 

Officers arrived and spoke to the victim, who told police that while he was sleeping in his pickup, with the keys in the ignition, a man he did not know entered the vehicle, Ramos said. 

The victim told the man, later identified as Brian Lowery, 35 of San Jose, to exit the vehicle, police said. Lowery told the truck’s owner that he was “hiding from the police.” 

Lowery exited the vehicle and was last seen meeting up with a woman, later identified as Monica Meledrez, 28 of Gilroy, Ramos said. 

Several minutes later Lowery and Meledrez were contacted by officers at East Dunne Avenue and Joleen Way, police said. After further investigation, officers determined that Lowery was in possession of a “shaved” ignition key, and was under the influence of a controlled substance. 

Meledrez was also under the influence of a controlled substance and in possession of stolen property from a prior burglary in Gilroy, Ramos said. 

Both suspects were arrested and booked at Santa Clara County Main Jail. 

“The Morgan Hill Police Department is releasing this to remind the community to remove your personal belongings from your vehicle, and do not leave keys in or about your vehicle,” Ramos said. “If you witness suspicious activity in parking lots or neighborhoods, be a good witness. Obtain descriptive information on the suspects and vehicles if possible.” 

To report information about this or any other case, call the Morgan Hill Police Department at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-7867. 

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