A juvenile and a 19-year-old man were arrested following a carjacking and pursuit in Santa Maria late Monday night. 

Saul Dolores Morelos
Saul Dolores Morelos

At approximately 11 p.m., officers from the Santa Maria Police Department responded to a report of a carjacking involving multiple suspects armed with a gun on the 300 block of East Betteravia Road, Sgt. Andy Brice said.

Officers located the carjacked vehicle near Broadway and Stowell Road, and attempted to make a traffic stop but the driver fled. 

“Due to the extremely dangerous driving behavior exhibited by the driver, the pursuit was terminated for public safety,” Brice said. 

Dispatchers began receiving calls about a prowler in the area of the vehicle’s last known location, near Pine and Fesler streets.

“Officers went to that location and soon encountered a male juvenile hiding in a yard. He was later determined to be one of the people involved in the carjacking, and the driver of the vehicle during the pursuit,” Brice said. 

The youth, whose name was not released due to his age, did not have a weapon when contacted by officers, Brice said. 

Officers learned from residents that there were possibly two more suspects in the area. 

In addition, the carjacked vehicle was located abandoned nearby.

Due to the high likelihood of two or more armed suspects in the area, police issued a reverse 9-1-1 call and alert to residents in the area, Brice said. 

A search ultimately led to the arrest of an adult male suspect identified as Saul Dolores Morelos, 19, of Santa Maria, Brice said.

Both Morelos and the juvenile suspect were booked into detention facilities on suspicion of carjacking, felony evading, and conspiracy to commit a felony crime, Brice said. 

The investigation, including efforts to identify and capture any additional suspects, was ongoing, Brice added.

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Janene Scully | Noozhawk North County Editor

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com.