|John Alvie Ferrell, 26, of Lucerne, Calif., was arrested on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, on a variety of charges including vehicle theft, battery and identity theft. Lake County Jail photo.|
CLEARLAKE, Calif. – Police have arrested a Lucerne man in connection with a Wednesday vehicle theft and an earlier case involving stolen checks, and they are investigating his possible links to other recent vehicle theft cases in Clearlake.
John Alvie Ferrell, 26, was arrested early Wednesday morning, according to Sgt. Rodd Joseph of the Clearlake Police Department.
Ferrell was arrested on felony charges of vehicle theft, first degree burglary, forgery, two counts of receiving stolen property, two counts of identity theft, a bench warrant and a parole violation, and misdemeanors of providing a false name to a police officer and battery on a person, according to jail records. He’s being held without bail.
Joseph said that at about 5:15 a.m. Wednesday Clearlake Police officers took a stolen vehicle report at Flyers gas station, located at 15010 Lakeshore Drive.
Witnesses gave officers a description of a possible suspect who was seen on a bicycle at the station just prior to the theft, Joseph said. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the stolen vehicle, a blue Toyota Yaris.
Just before 7 a.m. officers were contacted by a witness who reported that he had been walking in the area of Mullen Avenue when he was approached by another male subject, Joseph said.
This subject told the witness that he had stolen a vehicle from Flyers a short time earlier and had left his bicycle in the area. Joseph said the subject asked the witness to retrieve his bicycle from the area near Flyers for him and he would pay the witness for returning the bicycle to him. The witness went to Flyers, located the bicycle and called police.
This witness described the home on Mullen Avenue where the possible suspect was located, Joseph said. He further reported that there was a vehicle in the driveway which was concealed under a tarp.
Joseph said graveyard and day shift officers went to the address in the 3900 block of Mullen Avenue. As officers were arriving, a vehicle drove away from the home and parked in another driveway across the street. An unidentified male driver fled from the vehicle back towards the home. The vehicle was identified as the stolen vehicle in question.
Officers made contact at the home where several persons were contacted. One of the subjects contacted was later identified as Ferrell, who allegedly provided a false name to officers during contact Joseph said.
Ferrell matched the description of the person on the bicycle at the time of the theft and also that of the person described by the witness who claimed to have stolen the car from Flyers. Joseph said Ferrell was detained; he was uncooperative with police and denied stealing any vehicles.
A search of the home located stolen property which had been inside the vehicle when it had been stolen, Joseph said. Additional property was found in the home linking Ferrell to at least one other recent vehicle burglary that had not yet been reported to police.
The property owner was contacted and identified the stolen property as belonging to him. Joseph said it was determined to have been stolen from a parked vehicle at the Travelodge, located at 4775 Old Highway 53, between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
Ferrell was identified by witnesses as the person on the bicycle at Flyers at the time of theft, and the person who claimed to had stolen the vehicle at Flyers asking a witness to return his bicycle to him, Joseph said.
Police subsequently arrested him for vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, providing a false name to police and identity theft. Once Ferrell’s true name was determined, he was found to be a wanted parolee at large and had several warrants for his arrest, Joseph said.
Joseph said the stolen vehicle and property were returned to the vehicle’s owner.
While Ferrell was being processed at the police department, an officer recognized Ferrell from a recent case he had investigated, Joseph said.
On June 16, a vehicle had been reported stolen from the 15200 block of Lakeshore Drive. Joseph said no suspect had been identified at the time but when the vehicle was later located, the vehicle’s owner reported several checks stolen from his vehicle.
He said that on July 2, several unidentified suspects had cashed the stolen checks at Foods, Etc. located at 15290 Lakeshore Dr. Foods, Etc. employees provided police with video surveillance of the crime. False names were used on the checks so no suspects had yet been identified.
The officer reviewed the video surveillance he had taken as evidence on July 2 and positively identified Ferrell in the video, Joseph said. Based on this new discovery, Ferrell was additionally charged with possession of stolen property, burglary, forgery and identity theft.
The Clearlake Police Department has had a rash of recent stolen vehicles, some of which are still under investigation, Joseph said. Officers are searching for leads to try and link Ferrell to any of the recent stolen vehicle thefts.
Joseph reminded city residents to keep their vehicles locked and to never leave a vehicle’s engine running while the vehicle is unattended. A running vehicle is an easy target for a car thief.
Anyone with information on any of these vehicle theft crimes is urged to contact the Clearlake Police Department at 707-994-8251. Callers may remain anonymous.