SPPD: Man arrested early Monday on
school grounds for vehicle tampering

July 16, 2014
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula Police arrested an area man early Monday on various charges related to tampering with a vehicle parked at a school.

According to Sgt. Jeremy Watson, the incident occurred July 14 at about 12:45 a.m. when police responded to a report of a suspicious person at Glen City Elementary School, located at the intersection of West Main Street and South Steckel Drive.

“The reporting party described a male subject wearing a black baseball cap carrying a large tool on the playground area,” noted Watson, and, as officers arrived on scene, “They encountered a male subject hiding amongst piles of tree branches near the northeast corner of the playground.”

Police detained the man, 40-year-old Chad McMaster of Santa Paula.

Watson said McMaster was found in possession of a “large lug wrench-type tool used to remove lug nuts from large commercial vehicles... also located in McMaster’s possession was a tool used to remove the valves from vehicle tires.”

While investigating McMaster’s reason for being on school grounds, Watson said officers located a large tree trimming truck owned by Stay Green Tree Care on the south side of the playground area. 

“Upon inspecting the vehicle, it was found that the valves were removed from the front tires,” which caused them to deflate. 

Under the front axle, noted Watson, “was a large block of wood,” used to keep the front of the vehicle suspended as the air was removed from the tires. 

The lug nuts from the front right tire were removed and officers located them nearby. 

After further investigation officers believed McMaster had trespassed onto the property and prowled around for the purpose of committing a crime. 

Said Watson, “McMaster possessed burglary tools and committed the crime of vehicle tampering by removing the valves and lug nuts from the tires for the purpose of stealing them.”

McMaster was arrested without incident for suspicion of trespass, prowling, vehicle tampering and possession of burglary tools and transported to the Santa Paula Police Station.

McMaster, added Watson, “Was later transported and lodged at the Ventura County Jail.”

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