Alleged car thieves arrested in Fountain Valley

Fountain Valley police arrested two suspects in connection with the thefts of two SUVs last week, authorities said.

Police tracked down Maria Navarro, 29, of Santa Ana on April 25 after she fled the Sam's Club on Brookhurst Street, Sgt. Ron Varner said. Frank Moreno, 33, of Garden Grove was taken into custody Wednesday after he walked into the Fountain Valley police station, the sergeant added.

"He kind of just fell right in our lap," he said. "It doesn't get any easier than that."

Navarro and Moreno were arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft.

Navarro was released Sunday after posting bail. Moreno was being held at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department website.

On April 25, the two suspects entered the Sam's Club off Brookhurst Street and stole a woman's car keys from her shopping cart, according to a news release from Fountain Valley police.

When the victim noticed her keys were missing, she went to the parking lot and saw Navarro sitting in her 2012 Jeep Patriot, the release said. The suspect took off, and the victim contacted police.

Officials reviewed surveillance video and spotted a person, later identified to be Moreno, fleeing the scene in a 2005 Honda CRV, which had been reported stolen from Anaheim on April 24, according to the release.

Authorities found Navarro about a mile away from the store. During her arrest, police found Moreno's driver's license and matched his photo to the person driving the Honda, the statement said.

On Tuesday, Navarro and Moreno walked into the front lobby of the Fountain Valley Police Department to retrieve Navarro's belongings, the release said. Police recognized Moreno and took him into custody, according the statement.

Authorities found a Honda key in his pocket and located the stolen SUV behind the station near the Fountain Valley Library, police said.

Both vehicles have been returned to their owners.

—Anthony Clark Carpio

Twitter: @acocarpio