At around 10:15 a.m. yesterday morning, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Detectives with the Gang Enforcement Unit located a vehicle reported stolen from Santa Maria driving eastbound in the 1800 block of Stowell Road in Santa Maria. When Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver sped off at a high rate of speed. The suspect crossed double yellow lines and ran several stop signs in an effort to avoid authorities. Due to public safety concerns, Sheriff’s Deputies called off the pursuit but continued to search for the stolen vehicle and the driver.
About 15 minutes later, Sheriff’s Deputies discovered the vehicle which had been abandoned in the 3300 block of Willowood Road in the Tanglewood residential area. Moments later, a neighbor reported seeing the suspect going into the backyard of a residence in the 3300 block of Briarwood Road. Sheriff’s Deputies secured the perimeter and brought in a Sheriff’s K-9 Unit and a CHP Helicopter to assist with searching for the suspect.
Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a welfare check at the residence and located the homeowner who gave them permission to search the home and surrounding property. The suspect was located hiding in a trailer located in the backyard.
28-year-old Pedro Valdovinos of Santa Maria was arrested and taken into custody. He is charged with being in possession of a stolen vehicle and evading law enforcement. Valdovinos is booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on $25,000 bail.