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LAMORINDA: Police Catch Two Suspected Car Thieves – But Not Without A Struggle

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Another wild night in Lamorinda Sunday as Moraga police were informed of a pair loitering around a car and garages on Miramonte Drive, possibly trying to steal a car. Initial suspicions were borne out, apparently, as police arrived and the pair left the area in a black Acura shortly after the initial call at 8:15 p.m.

Moraga Police Lt. Jon King said his officers fell in behind the Acura, requesting assistance from neighboring jurisdictions after a computer check of the car determined that it had been reported stolen in Concord.

King said that as the pair were driving on St. Mary’s Road near South Lucille Lane, they suddenly sped up. The officers turned on their emergency lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the car, but the suspects failed to yield. The officers pursued the vehicle from St. Mary’s Road to Moraga Road. The suspects turned off of Moraga Road and drove on streets around Stanley Middle School to return to St. Mary’s Road. When the suspects turned from Topper Lane on to St. Mary’s Road, they failed to stop at the intersection and collided with a car that was being driven westbound on St. Mary’s Road.

That’s when things got sporty.

“When the stolen Acura came to a stop, the engine caught on fire. Moraga and Lafayette officers had to cut a seat belt off of one suspect and a shoe off of another to extricate and pull them from the burning car. The officers were able to put the fire out with a number of fire extinguishers. The other vehicle was occupied by a father and son from Lafayette. The son, who was the passenger of the other car, received a minor injury, but his father was not injured. Both vehicles suffered major damage,” King said.

The driver of the stolen car was identified as Jose Zacarias, 19, of Concord. Zacarias is on probation for a number of offenses, including vehicle theft, burglary, carrying a concealed dagger and receiving stolen property. The passenger is a 16-year-old male and is not being identified as he is a juvenile, police said. Both of the suspects were placed under arrest for charges including vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, evading police officers and probation violations.

The suspects were transported by AMR Ambulance to Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Martinez, where they were treated for minor injuries. The passenger of the other car was transported by AMR Ambulance to John Muir Medical Center where he was treated for minor injuries.

Anyone with any information about this incident, including the suspicious activity that occurred on Miramonte Drive, is asked to call the Moraga Police Department at 925-888-7055.

7 COMMENTS

  1. “Zacarias is on probation for a number of offenses, including vehicle theft, burglary, carrying a concealed dagger and receiving stolen property.”

    – thank you Prop 47

  2. I think your laying blame at the door of Prop 47 is on the mark. It would be interesting to see how many of these people are recent releasees. From the sound of it, a lot.

  3. It must be really interesting for law enforcement to be chasing a guy one minute and cutting him out of a burning car the next. I don’t think I could be that professional. I think I’d be tempted to stand by and watch the burglar barbecue. Crazy job.

  4. Doesn’t sound like these guys were with the danger that the police chase in and near a very residential area posed to innocent civilians. Thankfully, the Lafayette father and son were not seriously injured.

  5. Only a matter of time before an innocent party was hurt. I lay the blame on the crooks not the cops.

  6. Your tip line works! Neighbors told us about this last night after we got home. We missed all the excitement!!!

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