Stolen car pursuit leads to arrest in East Hemet
On Saturday Sept. 23 shortly after 11:30 a.m., the Hemet Police Department received a call of a suspicious vehicle at a gas station in the 600 block of W. Florida Avenue. The caller told dispatch that the vehicle, a white Pontiac G8, may have been stolen and was being driven by a Hispanic male with tattoos on his head and neck.
HPD officers responded to the scene and saw the vehicle leave the gas station, go east on Florida Avenue and north onto State Street. Officers saw it turn right (east) onto Devonshire after failing to stop for the red signal, according to Hemet Police Lt. Glen Brock. The officers initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle accelerated away. A pursuit initiated and wound through portions of northeast Hemet and into Valle Vista. Ultimately, the vehicle became disabled in the area of Fairview and Olive avenues in Valle Vista and both occupants of the vehicle were detained without incident.
Investigation revealed that the vehicle was in fact, stolen out of Banning and that the driver – Jeremy Sellers, a 28-year-old San Jacinto resident, had an active felony warrant for his arrest. The female passenger, a 28-year-old Hemet resident, had two active misdemeanor warrants for her arrest.
Utility theft nets one arrest
On July 21, deputies were called to the area of Pine Cove Road and McGovern Road in Pine Cove, regarding an alleged theft of utilities. The Pine Cove Water District reported approximately 1.5 million gallons of water with an estimated value of more than $17,000 had been stolen by unknown persons. Hemet Sheriff’s investigators followed leads which showed that a suspect tapped into a fire hydrant underground to supply water to an illegal marijuana grow on national forest land, according to a news release by the Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators wrote several search warrants which led them to the 1700 block of Parson’s Road in Mead Valley. Investigators arrested Joel Vargas-Hernandez, 28, from the Mead Valley area of Riverside County. Vargas-Hernandez was booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center for investigation of utility theft.
Anyone with information relating to this investigation should call Investigator Fransik at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station, 951-791-2300.
Car vs. pedestrian results in death
On the evening of Sept. 24, Hemet Police officers responded to a traffic collision near the intersection of San Jacinto Street and Oakland Avenue in Hemet. Officers arrived on scene and learned a 2017 Honda Civic collided into a pedestrian who was crossing San Jacinto Street, according to a release by Hemet Police Department. The collision seriously injured the 37-year-old pedestrian who later succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital. The Riverside County Coroner has not positively identified the pedestrian. The driver of the car, a 19-year-old Hemet man, remained at the scene.
According to traffic investigators, the pedestrian was walking east across San Jacinto Street in the marked crosswalk against the pedestrian control signal (walk/don’t walk sign). Vehicles traveling north on San Jacinto Street, including the driver of the Honda Civic, had a green traffic signal showing in their direction. DUI is not suspected in this collision; however, the investigation is ongoing.
San Jacinto Street was closed between Devonshire Avenue and Menlo Avenue for several hours while the collision investigation was conducted.