January 8, 2016

Satellite Radio Helps Track a Stolen Car

On January 7, 2016, at approximately 8:35 pm, Santa Cruz Police we responded to a report of a Carjacking in the 100 block of Baldwin Street.   Thanks to the help of Sirius XM radio, we were able to track and recover the stolen car in San Mateo County.  Unfortunately, our suspect managed to escape capture. 

The victim reported that he parked his car in the 100 block of Baldwin Street.  While walking to his home, the victim was approached by the suspect, who demanded the keys to the victim’s car.  The suspect brandished an assault style rifle at the victim while repeating his demand for the keys.  The victim turned over the keys.  The suspect took the car and headed north on Baldwin Street.

Responding officers utilized the “Project ROPE” protocol (a program where officers station at strategic locations throughout the county).  Approximately 10 minutes later, the stolen car was spotted by a Santa Cruz officer at Highway 1 and Western Drive.  The vehicle briefly pulled to the side of the road, but then accelerated away from the officer northbound on Highway 1.  The vehicle quickly reached a speed of 100+ MPH.  Because of the excessive speeds, wet roadways and cross traffic, SCPD discontinued the pursuit after approximately 1 mile.

SCPD had the victim activate a Sirius XM satellite radio feature which tracks the vehicle.  SCPD dispatch received periodic updates on the car’s location from the service.  The suspect eventually drove into San Mateo County, where their Deputies spotted the vehicle and initiated a short pursuit.  San Mateo terminated their pursuit and monitored the vehicle’s travel through the Sirius XM radio tracking.  The car eventually was tracked to a rural roadway off Highway 84 in San Mateo County. 

Because of the remote location, darkness, and the potential that the suspect had a high-powered rifle, the decision was made to monitor the car overnight and recover it this morning.  San Mateo County Deputies monitored the vehicle location and used a helicopter to search the surrounding area.  The suspect was not located.

SCPD Detectives coordinated with San Mateo County Deputies and successfully recovered the victim’s car this morning (Friday January 8th).   Many kudos to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.  Very solid work and coordination by their Deputies. 

SCPD Detectives will process the car for evidence and return it to the victim. Detectives are also pouring over private video from the area in an attempt to locate a possible suspect and/or associates. 

The recovered stolen car is a 2015 Lexus RCF Coupe.  
Photo:  Courtesy Lexus.com
The suspect was described as a White Male Adult approx. 20-25 years.  The suspect had a bandanna covering his face.  He was wearing a baseball hat, black jacket and jeans.  The suspect may have been associated with another car seen in the area at the time of the carjacking.  That vehicle is described as a black 4 door sedan similar in appearance to a Toyota Prius.