Friday, 21 June 2024

REGIONAL: Willits man arrested after being found with stolen Lake County vehicle

WILLITS – A Willits man was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with stealing a vehicle from Lake County.

Dustin Bruce, 26, was taken into custody for possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and a parole violation, according to Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were on patrol at the Sherwood Valley Rancheria Casino Wednesday evening when they observed a white Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot. Smallcomb said a records check on the vehicle showed the vehicle was reported stolen out of Lake County.

The deputies learned, with the assistance of the casino security, that a male subject had driven the Jeep to the location and then left in a separate vehicle, Smallcomb said. Contents inside the vehicle led the deputies to suspect that someone would be returning to get the vehicle.

A short while later a vehicle pulled up to the Jeep, where a male and female entered the vehicle, which then began to drive away, Smallcomb said. The vehicle exited from the casino and into a nearby residence.

Smallcomb said the deputies responded to the location and observed a male driver matching a previous description, seated in the driver seat. The female companion was now exiting the vehicle.

The driver, Bruce, was taken into custody without any incident, Smallcomb said.

Sheriff's deputies located 2.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine sitting on the driver seat, which Bruce appeared to have placed there when exiting the vehicle. Smallcomb said the deputies learned the female companion was not involved with the incident and was released on scene.

Bruce – who is currently on active parole from Mendocino County – was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and booked without a bail amount.

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