A 17-year-old Port Hueneme boy suspected in a string of vehicle thefts has been arrested on suspicion of stealing a car that had been left running inside an open garage, Oxnard police said Saturday.
The teen was booked into Juvenile Hall on Friday on suspicion of auto theft, burglary and trespassing after allegedly stealing a car parked in the 4100 block of Columbia Drive in Oxnard, said Officer Christa Lyneis.
A 15-year-old male passenger in the stolen car also was arrested.
About 7 a.m. Friday, Hector Rojas ran from his house as his 1992 BMW was being backed out of the driveway, Lyneis said.
An hour later, Rojas, driving a different car, saw his car and gave chase.
The cars collided near the intersection of Columbia Drive and Columbia Court and the suspects fled on foot, Lyneis said.
Rojas captured the 15-year-old, and the 17-year-old was arrested after running out the back door of a house, Lyneis said.
"The suspect used the phone in the residence and told the residents he was not going to injure or harm them but was waiting for a friend to pick him up from the house," Lyneis said.
The 17-year-old is suspected in at least four similar auto thefts in Oxnard in the last 18 months.
Lyneis said that in each case, a vehicle was stolen after owners left keys out in the open or left the vehicles running.