Santa Barbara police officers with stolen vehicle.
The pursuit of a stolen vehicle through the streets of Santa Barbara ended in an arrest Friday on the 1800 block of San Pascual Street on the city’s Westside. (Diego Topete / Noozhawk photo)
Rupert Michael Gil

Rupert Michael Gil

Santa Barbara police and a county helicopter pursued a stolen vehicle Friday morning and arrested the driver on the city’s Westside.

The incident began shortly after 10 a.m., when a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s patrol vehicle received a LoJack alert about a stolen vehicle in the area of State Street and Highway 154, according to Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The deputy attempted to pull over the vehicle — a red Cadillac — but the driver fled into the city.

The pursuit wound around from the Mission Street area, up to La Cumbre Road, across the freeway, then down Modoc Road to the Westside.

The driver ran several red lights, according to emergency radio traffic, so the officers driving in pursuit pulled back and had a county helicopter track the vehicle.

The chase ended at a vacant lot on the 1800 block of San Pascual Street, where the suspect exited the vehicle and was taken into custody at gunpoint moments later, Wagner said.

The suspect was identified as Rupert Michael Gil, 18, of Santa Maria, Wagner said.

Gil was being booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, felony evading arrest, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at