Pair charged in Glendale police car theft

Kevin Sanchez and William Menser were arrested on suspicion of stealing a Glendale police patrol car from the Orange County Sheriff's Academy. (Courtesy of the Tustin Police Department / January 22, 2014)

Prosecutors have charged two men for allegedly stealing a Glendale Police Department patrol car and other valuables from the Orange County Sheriff’s training academy in Tustin.

William Menser, 22, of Palm Springs and Kevin Sanchez, 21, of Tustin, face vehicle theft and second-degree burglary charges for the Jan. 2 break-in at the academy, according to Orange County Superior Court records.

They are scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 4 in an Orange County courtroom.

Detectives are still investigating the break-in and are looking for additional suspects, Tustin Police Lt. John Strain said.

The pair was arrested separately after police obtained a warrant to search their homes and found items stolen from the training academy, he said.

Tustin detectives reportedly recovered a police light bar, hubcaps and a blue-and-red light stored inside a patrol car.

The items had been stolen from several patrol cars, including the Glendale police vehicle, which had been stored at the sheriff’s academy because it was being used to train police-officer candidates.

Earlier this month, Tustin police said the burglars scaled the academy’s fence to reach the parked police vehicles.

They allegedly burglarized the police vehicles and, for unknown reasons, selected the Glendale patrol car to flee the scene.

Soon after, police received a call notifying them that a Glendale police vehicle was spotted about 1:30 a.m. driving erratically on a freeway.

Tustin police responded to the sheriff’s academy and discovered the patrol car was missing.

That prompted officers to alert nearby law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the Glendale patrol car.

A Garden Grove police officer later spotted the patrol car abandoned in a residential neighborhood, which was 9 miles away from the sheriff’s academy.

The patrol car’s light bar was also missing, police said.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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