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Local News

Two-Time Hit-and-Run Suspect Nabbed in Santa Maria

Alvaro Venegas

A 25-year-old man already wanted in an earlier incident was arrested on hit-and-run and other charges Tuesday night after being pursued by officers, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Alvaro Venegas of Santa Maria was taken into custody at about 9 p.m. near the 2100 block of North Western Avenue, Sgt. Robert Morris said.

The incident began when officers were called to the 800 block of West Creston Street on a report of a hit and run.

Witnesses directed investigators to the suspect vehicle, a brown Honda Civic parked a few doors away.

"As officers approached the vehicle, it sped away," Morris said. "By the time officers returned to their vehicles, the Honda was no longer in sight."

A search of the surrounding neighborhood revealed fresh damage to a fence, and signs a vehicle had gone over an embankment and into a drainage ditch.

A few blocks away, officers located the Honda driving with flat tires and fresh damage.

"They attempted a traffic stop and the vehicle fled," Morris said. "A vehicle pursuit was initiated. The slow-speed pursuit reached speeds of 25 mph and traveled less than a mile before the suspect vehicle lost control and crashed into a curb."

Venegas then fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended.

He was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, driving under the influence, and hit and run, Morris said.

Venegas was the suspect in a vehicle pursuit on Feb. 15, when officers attempted to make a DUI stop.

The vehicle fled and led officers on a high-speed chase that was discontinued for safety reasons.

Officers found that vehicle a short distance away after it had crashed into another vehicle, injuring its occupants.

The driver fled on foot and was not captured.

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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