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Stolen Vehicle in Santa Barbara Leads To High-Profile Arrest in Buellton

The arrest of a woman for allegedly stealing a car from Santa Barbara led authorities to stop traffic on Highway 246  in Buellton for a short time Thursday.

Just before noon, sheriff’s deputies received an alert that a Toyota Prius had been reported stolen in Santa Barbara and likely was headed to Santa Maria, according to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

At 12:18 p.m., deputies spotted the silver Prius headed northbound on Highway 101 in Buellton, where the driver exited at Avenue of the Flags, Hoover said.

Deputies stopped the vehicle at a gas station on McMurray Road, and ordered the suspect out of the Prius, Hoover added.

The driver, Nicole McNabb, 32, of Santa Maria was taken into custody without incident. 

She was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and may face additional charges, Hoover said.

Traffic on nearby Highway 246 was halted for a time Thursday until the woman was taken into custody.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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