Note: Patrol deputies at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are expected to see this new technology in their cars in about October 2012. The deputy whose equipped vehicle aided in Friday’s apprehension is not assigned to SCV Station.
[LASD] – Two suspects were allegedly committing felonies while most residents of Santa Clarita were sleeping. A quick response by Santa Clarita Station deputies, guided by technology recently installed in LASD patrol cars, made sure that the suspects would ruin no one else’s holiday season.
Friday morning, December 23, the two suspects allegedly started their crime spree by smashing a car’s window and stealing items from inside it near McBean Parkway and Copperhill Drive in Saugus. Later the same morning, the suspects attempted to burglarize another car near Garzota Drive and Seco Canyon Road, Saugus.
At about 6:30 a.m. Friday, a witness saw the two suspects smash the car’s window and began shouting at them. The suspects left the area in a blue Silverado pickup truck but not before the witness obtained a partial license plate number of the suspect’s truck.
Santa Clarita deputies swarmed the area looking for the suspects.
Meanwhile, Deputy Steve Shirley assigned as an instructor with the Sheriff’s Communications and Fleet Management Bureau was on his way to court and listening to the sheriff’s radio broadcast.
Deputy Shirley’s car was equipped with the new Sheriff’s Mobile Digital Computer System (MDCS), so he was able to remotely access his desktop computer at work. He linked to a multi-jurisdictional database, and using several possible license plates, determined the full license plate of the suspect’s truck.
He accessed the Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) database and was able to see photos of the truck that were made when it had passed through areas ranging from East Los Angeles to Santa Clarita.
In looking at the photos on the screen of his in-car computer from ten miles away, he provided a detailed description over the radio of the suspect’s vehicle to deputies who were searching, including the full license plate and that it had an extended cab with chrome rims, and even described the chrome-tipped, dual-exhaust pipes.
The suspects were quickly observed and detained by deputies near Via Princessa and Golden Triangle Road, Canyon Country, while they were allegedly stealing construction materials and equipment from a nearby construction yard.
Suspects Brian Martinez, 19 years of age, and Daniel Sandrini, 28 years of age, both from Sylmar, were transported to Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. They are being held on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property.
Additional victims, identified through investigation of the stolen property, have been contacted by Santa Clarita Sheriff’s deputies.
Deputies at the scene of the arrrest said they had never seen a truck so loaded down with stolen property.
“So far, the new MDC’s are installed in radio cars in Industry, Palmdale and Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, said Captain Scott Edson, Sheriff’s Communications and Fleet Management Bureau. “We install and deploy more MDC’s every day and are providing training for all deputies on how to use this system. This incident demonstrates how effective a deputy can be when the right technology is in the right hands at the right time.”