Two arrested for at least 8 vehicle break-ins

January 13, 2010 9:37:30 AM PST
Two men were arrested in Monterey County Tuesday morning in connection with a string of vehicle burglaries, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies responded to numerous reports of vehicle burglaries in Castroville and Moss Landing at around 1 a.m., according to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office. At least eight vehicles had their windows smashed and items taken from inside.

Israel Pantoja, 22, and Jose Mendez were detained when deputies found them parked in the parking lot of a closed business. Pantoja allegedly had glass shards on his clothing and a cut on his hand that appeared to be fresh, according to the sheriff's office.

When one of the burglary victims called his cell phone, which he said was stolen from his car, a cell phone in Mendez' pocket apparently began to ring.

A search of Pantoja and Mendez's vehicle revealed numerous electronic items, tools, and money from at least eight vehicle burglaries that had occurred within the past three hours, the sheriff's office reported.

The two were arrested, and Mendez allegedly confessed to driving Pantoja to various locations while he broke into vehicles, according to the sheriff's office.