Thursday, March 22 , 2018, 1:50 am | Light Rain 59º


Local News

Driver of Porsche Stolen in Santa Barbara Target of Highway 101 Pursuit

The suspect is arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges after crashing in Ventura County

A suspected car thief was arrested Thursday after a Highway 101 pursuit that began when a sheriff’s deputy spotted a southbound vehicle speeding near Carpinteria.

Aaron Michael Smith
Aaron Michael Smith

The deputy initiated a traffic stop on the driver of a gray Porsche convertible shortly after 11 a.m., but the driver refused to pull over, sped up and began weaving through moderate to light traffic.

The deputy kept the driver in view and continued to follow the sports car. As other sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit, they learned that the vehicle had just been reported stolen from an auto detailing shop in the 400 block of Chapala Street in Santa Barbara.

The California Highway Patrol took the lead in the pursuit about 11:18 a.m. as it continued southbound on Highway 101 and had crossed into Ventura County.

About 11:26 a.m., the driver crashed near the Del Norte exit. No one was injured, but the vehicle sustained significant damage. Two other non-law enforcement vehicles received minor damage in the crash.

Aaron Michael Smith, 33, of San Jose was taken into custody at the scene. He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of felony driving a vehicle without consent, felony evading a peace officer with disregard for public safety, misdemeanor reckless driving, misdemeanor driving without a license, driving in excess of 100 mph and unsafe lane changes. Bail was set at $75,000.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >