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Two teenagers were arrested on auto theft charges after being pulled over in a stolen vehicle near Mill Valley early Wednesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol. At 12:37 a.m., Marin CHP officers were conducting a traffic stop on another vehicle in a construction zone on the on-ramp from state Highway 1 to northbound U.S. Highway 101 when they saw a Chrysler PT Cruiser traveling north on Highway 1, crossing into oncoming lanes of traffic, CHP officials said. The car traveled through the construction zone, which was marked with cones, and went onto northbound Highway 101, according to the CHP.
As it passed the CHP officers, it nearly hit a traffic management sign. The CHP pulled over the Chrysler at Seminary Drive. The driver and the passenger were both 19-year old men from San Rafael. The driver, Jose Peralta, claimed the PT Cruiser belonged to a friend of his passenger, Jose Escobar. However, the suspects could not produce the name of the car’s owner nor provide any identification. A check of the Chrysler’s license plate number revealed that the car had been reported stolen from an address in Mill Valley on Friday.
An officer took Peralta and Escobar into custody, but Escobar attempted to flee as he was removed from the vehicle and patted down by an officer. He attempted to run but was quickly apprehended in a marshy area just east of where the vehicle was stopped, according to the CHP. Officers also found a glass marijuana pipe on Escobar. Both suspects were placed under arrest around 12:45 a.m. and transported to Marin County Jail.
Both were booked for vehicle theft, grand theft of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of burglary tools. Escobar was additionally booked for escaping from custody and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Peralta was booked for committing a felony while being on release for felony charges and driving without a license. A search of the vehicle revealed walkie-talkie radios, gloves, tools, multiple sets of keys and a ski mask, CHP officers said.
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