Santa Ana Ground, Canine and Air Units Converge to Recover Stolen PT Cruiser

  • February 24, 2012
  • recovery stories

On February 9, 2012, officers from the Santa Ana Police Department overheard a radio broadcast from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that they had picked up the silent LoJack signal from a stolen 2006 Chrysler Cruiser in the area of Santa Ana and Grand.  As the Santa Ana officer neared that location, he, too, picked up the Chrysler’s LoJack signal; he tracked the signal to an apartment parking lot in the 1200 block of Cabrillo Park.

As the officer drove through the parking lot, he observed the Chrysler pass by, occupied by a male driver and a female passenger. As other units responded to the location, the stolen Chrysler pulled into an empty parking stall and the two occupants fled the vehicle. Police immediately sealed off the location began a search for the suspects.  Utilizing a law enforcement helicopter with a F.L.I.R. (forward-looking infrared), the suspects’ body heat was detected, hiding on a second floor in the corner of the building behind some chairs.  A canine officer at the scene gave a warning that he would deploy his canine; at this time, both suspects stood up, raised their hands and surrendered without further incident.        

The investigation not only led to the recovery of the stolen PT Cruiser, but also additional personal property. The male suspect was determined to be a “P.A.L. (Parolee at Large) .  He was booked on numerous felony charges, including vehicle theft.  The female was also booked for felony charges and outstanding warrants.  The grateful owners responded and took possession of their vehicle and property. The case was referred to detectives for felony filings.

 The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed in the Chrysler PT Cruiser by the original owner at Country Wide Chrysler in September 2007.