A couple who were the victims of a car theft helped Santa Barbara police recover two stolen vehicles — including one of their own.
The couple were driving south on Las Positas Road about 7:15 p.m. Friday when they spotted two suspects driving in their stolen 2007 Toyota Prius, which had been reported stolen on April 29 from the 1400 block of Chapala Street, according to police Lt. Paul McCaffrey. Th couple followed the suspects and called police from a cell phone.
The Pruis followed the Chrysler to Shoreline Park, where they parked. The victims kept the 9-1-1 dispatcher updated on the location of the vehicle, and officers pulled in behind the Prius. The males in the Chrysler took off running, according to McCaffrey. An officer tackled one of the suspects at the scene, and the other officer detained a second suspect a short distance away.
The officers saw the third suspect jump a side fence to a residence on San Clemente. Additional officers searched backyards and found the suspect hiding in a shed.
The suspects in the Prius, a male and a female, were detained at the scene. McCaffrey said an occupant in each of the vehicles were cousins.
Two males in the Chysler, ages 16 and 17, and the 17-year-old driver of the Prius were booked into Juvenile Hall on charges of auto theft. Charges against the other two occupants are under review by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.