Auto burglar caught redhanded in Petaluma

February 15, 2010 12:50:21 PM PST
Petaluma police arrested a Santa Rosa man on suspicion of auto burglary early Sunday morning after he was found with his arms full of stolen items taken from cars parked nearby.

Police headed to the area of McGregor Avenue and Park Lane at about 5:40 a.m. Sunday after someone reported seeing several people walking in the neighborhood and breaking into cars.

They spotted Santa Rosa resident William Garcia and Petaluma resident Tyler Smith-Cooper, both 20, and stopped them.

Garcia was carrying a car stereo, numerous car stereo faceplates, a vehicle registration and about 20 miscellaneous items in his arms, police said.

He was also in possession of burglary tools, police said.

Officers arrested Garcia on suspicion of auto burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.

Tyler Smith-Cooper was arrested for public intoxication and violation of probation, police said.

Both were booked into Sonoma County jail.

After police detained the pair, residents were able to identify their property among the items Garcia had been holding. Police said Garcia later admitted to stealing the items.