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Police arrested five suspects Friday morning in connection with a Walnut Creek car theft and burglary that occurred hours earlier. At about 5 a.m. a man in Walnut Creek woke to hear someone starting his car outside his home in the 1500 block of Sunnyvale Avenue, police said. He went outside to find a man later identified as 27-year-old Concord man Mario Pena stealing his car, according to police. As Pena sped away, the victim saw two other men running from his neighbor’s driveway.
The man chased the two suspects, one of whom dropped a black backpack allegedly stolen from the neighbor’s car. After losing sight of the pair, the victim called police.Officers arrived in the neighborhood a short time later and found one of the fleeing suspects, Concord resident Heriberto Hernandez, 18, hiding and arrested him. Around 7 a.m., a Walnut Creek police officer spotted the second suspect who had fled from the neighbors’ driveway — identified as 39-year-old transient Isaac Gomez — in a minivan with other occupants driving onto Interstate Highway 680.
The officer waited for backup to arrive before stopping the minivan on state Highway 24 near Pleasant Hill Road. Police arrested Pena for alleged auto theft, burglary and possession of stolen property. They arrested Gomez and 35-year-old Juan Perez, of Concord, on suspicion of possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime.A teen girl who was also in the minivan was arrested for allegedly possessing stolen property. She has since been released to her parents.The four adult suspects are being held at the Martinez Detention Facility. Officers found the stolen vehicle in Concord around 11 a.m.
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