Riverside County sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday arrested two men — one of whom tried to evade them for over an hour — following an extensive vehicle theft investigation in southwest Riverside County, according to sheriff’s officials.
Christopher Balancar Jones, 27, and Dennis Bunn, 29, both of Menifee were both arrested and booked into Cois M. Byrd Detention Center.
Jones was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, being a restricted person in possession of an unregistered firearm, possessing a high-capacity magazine and possessing a controlled substance while armed, according to a Riverside County sheriff’s news release.
Bunn was arrested on suspicion of evading a police officer, committing a felony while out on bail, violating county probation, possessing a stolen vehicle, possessing stolen property and reckless driving, according to the release.
Sheriff’s officials say that members of both the Temecula and Menifee Special Enforcement Teams went to a home in the 31400 block of Corderro Lane in Menifee with a search warranted and found numerous stolen items, including a stolen motorcycle and vehicle. Jones, who was at the scene, was arrested.
Officials say the investigation then led them to another location in the unincorporated portion of the county near Murrieta and saw an additional stolen vehicle leaving that area. They tried to a traffic stop but the driver of the vehicle took off.
“Due to the driver’s actions, the officers did not initiate a pursuit and requested the assistance of the Riverside Sheriff’s Aviation Unit,” the release says. “The Sheriff’s helicopter arrived and maintained constant surveillance of the fleeing stolen vehicle. After almost an hour, the driver of the stolen vehicle pulled to the side of the road and surrendered to officers from the Temecula Police Department.”
Bunn, the driver, was then also arrested. This is the third time in six months that Bunn has been arrested in connection with fleeing from the police in a stolen vehicle, according to officials.
The sheriff’s department is asking anyone with information regarding their investigation is asked to contact the Temecula Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team at (951) 696-3000.