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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 1:41 pm | Mostly Cloudy 61º


Woman Arrested After Car Theft, Police Chase

Rhianna Gonzales, 31, of Santa Maria allegedly stole vehicle near Santa Barbara waterfront

Rhianna Gonzales
Rhianna Gonzales

A 31-year-old Santa Maria woman is facing auto-theft and other charges after allegedly stealing a car and leading officers on a pursuit up Highway 101, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Rhianna Gonzales was taken into custody in Goleta after absconding with the vehicle shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday near the Santa Barbara waterfront, said police Sgt. Todd Johnson.

The vehicle, which had the keys in it, was parked near Chase Palm Park, where a concert had taken place earlier in the evening, Johnson said.

The 1998 Volvo station wagon belonged to someone who was helping stage the show, and had been loaded with some $11,000 in sound-system equipment, Johnson said.

Gonzales allegedly jumped in the car and sped away, but soon was located by Santa Barbara police units near the freeway and Las Positas Road, Johnson said.

A traffic stop was attempted, but Gonzales sped away, and the officers pursued, assisted by the California Highway Patrol, Johnson said.

Gonzales was taken into custody without incident after she eventually stopped on the Los Carneros Road offramp, he said.

She was being held Friday at Santa Barbara County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail, according to a jail spokeswoman, who added that a no-bail hold was placed on Gonzales stemming from a probation violation in an unrelated case.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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