SP men arrested after vehicle pursuit from Santa Barbara to Oxnard

January 09, 2013
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paula man recently arrested in the city for suspicion of car theft was arrested with another area resident Thursday after they led Santa Barbara law enforcement on a pursuit with the suspects driving a stolen car.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department stated the two men were suspected of burglary before they led police on the high-speed pursuit that began in Summerland and ended in Oxnard.

The January 3 pursuit began shortly after 6:30 a.m. when SBSD deputies responded to a burglary-in-progress call in the 2200 block of Calle Culebra in the small seaside community of Summerland, south of Santa Barbara. After the vehicle drove away from the residence a witness gave deputies a description of the car, which was later spotted on Highway 101 south of Casitas Pass Road. 

A deputy conducted a stop, but when he approached the vehicle it accelerated and a pursuit began. The two suspects drove the vehicle into Ventura County at speeds of more than 100 mph.

The California Highway Patrol chased the vehicle until it entered Oxnard, where it crashed into a tree at Naples Drive and Ensign Place near the Oxnard Airport. The men exited the vehicle and ran off.

Oxnard Police surrounded the area and, with the help of a Ventura County sheriff’s helicopter and OPD K-9 unit, searched the area for the men. Justin Tyler Steele, 25, and Ryan Anthony Ramos, 22, both residents of Santa Paula, were found separately hiding in the surrounding neighborhood.

Authorities stated they later found a large amount of stolen property inside the car, a vehicle which investigators found had been reported stolen. Investigators believe some of the recovered properly may have been stolen from the city of Santa Barbara.

Steele and Ramos were booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of evading arrest, grand theft, possession of stolen property and possession of a stolen vehicle. They posted bail, according to officials.

Late last year Steele was arrested in Santa Paula after a high-speed pursuit that also involved a reported stolen vehicle. Steele, whose criminal record shows numerous brushes with the law, was arrested November 28, 2012 after he crashed a stolen Honda on the Highway 126 Briggs Road exit while being pursued by Santa Paula Police.

In that incident, Steele was arrested for suspicion of vehicle theft and evading a peace officer. Steele was also allegedly found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department noted the investigation is ongoing, and asks anyone who suspects they may have been a victim of burglary on January 3 to contact SBSD Detective Mike Scherbarth at 684-5405, ext. 423.

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