Vehicle thefts up in Ventura, east Ventura County

The Ventura Police Department says that vehicle thefts are up by 25 percent this year over 2016. From Jan. 1 to July 31, 2017, 210 stolen vehicle reports were made to the Ventura police, 44 more than the same period last year.

Toyotas (21), Dodges (20), Fords (20) and Nissans (18) made up a majority of the makes stolen. Police say that of all the vehicles stolen, 68 had the keys left inside.

Meanwhile, one wouldn’t expect a vehicle theft to occur whilst on horseback, but some Moorpark equine enthusiasts are finding that it’s nothing to neigh about.

Eleven vehicles have been burglarized while parked at eastern Ventura County equestrian centers since January, says city of Moorpark Chief of Police Capt. John Reilly. Six vehicle burglaries have been reported where horses are boarded or ridden in the city of Thousand Oaks, while five have been reported at three locations in Moorpark.

Many of the equestrian centers are in sparsely populated areas of the county, thus making it easy for a burglar to sneak in and out of the area.

The Ventura Police Department offers this advice to prevent vehicle theft: Never leave your keys in the ignition of a running vehicle, even for a minute; never leave a spare key in the car; always roll up windows; never leave valuables in plain sight; and park in a busy, well-lit area or garage when leaving your vehicle for an extended period of time.

Hamburglar strikes Ventura fast-food joint

Jennifer Cardinel

A recent break-in may have the owners of a Ventura Carl’s Jr. asking, “Where’s Ronald McDonald when you need him?” On Thursday, Sept. 7, 39-year-old Oak View resident Jennifer Cardinel allegedly broke in to the fast food restaurant and chowed down on the goods.

Cardinel was arrested after 1 a.m. when Ventura Police responded to an alarm at the Carl’s Jr. restaurant on the 2400 block of Thompson Boulevard, said authorities. The restaurant was closed at the time that Cardinel allegedly forced her way in and went to town. Authorities made contact with the woman, and she was arrested without incident and booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of felony commercial burglary and an outstanding arrest warrant.

Cardinel is being held on $10,000 bail.

Suspect extradited to Oxnard over 2016 murder

Christopher Arevalo

In 2016, 25-year-old Giovanni Vega was shot and killed on the 200 block of West Vineyard Avenue in Oxnard, believed to be a gang-related act of violence. In April of this year, Christopher Arevalo, 25, was arrested by FBI agents in Farmington, New Mexico, after an arrest warrant was issued on suspicion of murder.

On Saturday, Sept. 2, Arevalo was extradited to Ventura County jail to face charges over the 2016 murder, after authorities were given a governor’s warrant allowing for his extradition, due to Arevalo’s contesting the extradition. A second suspect, 23-year-old Joseph Minister, has been charged with felony accessory after the fact for allegedly harboring, concealing or helping Arevalo, with a special allegation of helping a known street gang, specifically the Colonia Chiques. Minister was arrested in Oxnard in May and remains in jail in lieu of $110,000 bond.

The combination of charges alleged against Arevalo make him eligible for the death penalty, though no decision on whether or not to pursue the death penalty has been made as of yet by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.