by Cindy Summers
Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On February 9, at approximately 4:45pm, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a call from a security guard who reported that he caught two subjects in the process of spray painting the side of a building at 2975 Johnson Dr., the former Toys R Us. The security guard said the two subjects fled from the area on foot, although a vehicle that possibly belonged to them was still parked near the building.
Officers responded to the scene and upon arrival observed two subjects, later identified as 22 year old Oxnard resident Edgar Cardenas and 23 year old Ventura resident Victor Rivas, walking a short distance away and detained them. Cardenas and Rivas matched the description of the two subjects given to dispatch by the security guard.
During a search of Cardenas and Rivas, officers found them to be in possession of graffiti tools and there was physical evidence that indicated they had recently been using spray paint. Inside the vehicle, which belonged to Cardenas, officers found additional evidence showing them to be involved in the vandalism.
Both were arrested for felony vandalism for causing more than $400 in damage, possession of graffiti tools and conspiracy to commit vandalism. Rivas had an additional charge of being in possession of a controlled substance.
A review of the Ventura County Superior Court website shows that Cardenas has a prior conviction in 2017 for carrying a loaded firearm. Rivas did not show to have any prior convictions.
The public can report damage from graffiti by leaving a message on the City of Ventura’s Graffiti Removal Hotline number at 654-7805.
Vehicle Pursuit and Arrest
On February 15, at approximately 12:45pm, Ventura Police detectives received information from detectives with VenCATT (Ventura County Combined Auto Theft Task Force) of a stolen vehicle in the area of Mills Road and Main Street in the city of Ventura. Detectives with the Ventura Police Street Crimes Unit located the vehicle in the area and requested patrol officers to help stop the vehicle.
The suspect, 25 year old Camarillo resident Daniel Cantero, entered the 101 freeway south towards Oxnard and exited at Ventura Road in Oxnard. While on the off-ramp Ventura PD patrol officers caught up to the vehicle. The Officers attempted a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle near the Collection in Oxnard. Instead of stopping the suspect led officers on a vehicle pursuit that ended at the corner of Forest Park Blvd. and Vineyard Ave. At that point, Cantero ran from the vehicle and led officers on a brief foot pursuit ending with the Cantero being caught. Neither Cantero nor the officers were injured during the incident.
Cantero was arrested for Felony evading arrest in a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance.
A review of the Ventura County Superior Court website shows that Cantero was arrested 14 times in 2018 for several theft and drug-related charges.
Residential Burglary Arrest
On February 16, at approximately 12:30pm, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a 911 call of an interrupted residential burglary that just occurred at an apartment in the 6600 block of Thille St. The victim arrived home and when he entered the apartment, confronted the suspect who had entered the apartment by forcing open a locked window. The suspect, later identified as 24 year old Ventura resident John Pritchard, was known to the victim as the relative of a roommate, but knew that Pritchard did not have permission to be inside the apartment. Pritchard fled from the apartment on foot.
Officers responding to the call saw Pritchard on foot several blocks away and detained him. He was found to be in possession of property taken from the apartment. Pritchard was positively identified and arrested.
Pritchard was arrested for burglary. No one was injured as a result of this incident.
A review of the Ventura County Superior Court website shows that Pritchard has prior arrests in 2019 and 2017 for narcotics, which resulted in a pretrial diversion in accordance with Prop 47, and a conviction for petty theft in 2017.
Sexual Assault and Burglary
On February 16, at approximately 1:30am, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a 911 call from an adult female reporting that she had just been sexually assaulted inside her residence in the 500 block of Howard St. The suspect, later identified as 33 year old Oxnard resident Omar Velazquez-Lara, who was known to the victim had entered the residence through an unlocked door and fled after assaulting the victim. He also made threats towards the victim. Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate him.
Detectives received information that Velazquez-Lara was going to the Ventura Harbor with plans to meet with the victim. Detectives observed his vehicle in the 1500 block of Spinnaker Dr. and conducted a traffic stop. Velazquez-Lara was taken into custody without incident.
After being taken to the Ventura Police Department, Velazquez-Lara was arrested for forcible rape, burglary and dissuading a victim.
Arrest for Manufacturing Heroin, Possession for Sales of a Controlled Substance, and Maintaining a Place for Illegal Drugs Use.
On February 19, at 2:45am, officers conducted proactive foot patrols in the 3300 block of E. Main St. During this time they saw a male, later identified as 27 year old Christopher Diaz, acting suspicious and trying to hide from them in an alley. Officers contacted Diaz and detained him.
During the investigation that followed it was determined Diaz had a room at a local motel which he was using to manufacture larger quantities of heroin. It was further established that he possessed the illegal drugs for future sales. Additionally, Diaz was allowing others in his room to engage in the unlawful use of controlled substances. Diaz was arrested for the above charges and booked in Ventura County Jail.
On November 29, 2018 at approximately 5:25 pm, a fire was reported in a storage room at Target located at 245 S. Mills Rd, Ventura. The suspect was captured on video surveillance leaving the storage room shortly before the fire alarm and fire sprinkler system was activated. Ventura City Fire Arson Investigators responded, and determined the fire was incendiary by nature. The estimated damage to the property was over $100,000.00.
During the course of the investigation major crimes detectives identified the suspect as 46 year old Donnie Jenkins. On February 22, Jenkins was located in the 4200 block of Main St. where he was arrested for the charge of arson.