Calexico Police said a car was stolen, taken across the border, and within hours the suspect arrested and the car back to its owner.
Surveillance cameras recently recorded the alleged theft of a car from the parking lot of a local trucking company on the 200 th block of Campillo Avenue at around 5 in the morning.
Veronica Valenzuela, police dispatcher, said, “We contacted port of entry to see if the vehicle had made it south, indeed, it made it south at 6 a.m. That morning.”
She relayed the information to authorities south of the border, as part of an ongoing collaboration between both police agencies at the border.
“I then called the Mexicali C-4, which is their communication center,” she explained. They’re pretty good with finding a lot of California license plates, running them with us, and we run them in our system, ” Valenzuela said.
Within hours, 29-year-old Carlos Antonio Nuno Rivas was spotted at a gas station inside the missing car. C-4 notified Valenzuela that “one of their officers is out with the vehicle with the subject in the driver’s seat.”
Valenzuela said the victim was overjoyed his car was found – within only a few hours after it went missing.
” Oh, my god, his voice changed from one instant, he was normal, he’s like, really? He said in Spanish, ‘ andaba hechando andar mi otro carrito ‘ [I was getting my other car started]. So, he could make a report in Mexicali. I said, i already went ahead and did that for you. ”
Now Rivas faces jail time in Mexicali.
“He is in possession of a stolen vehicle, at this time, they’re probably going to charge him with that in Mexicali,” Valenzuela said.
She added that Rivas also has a date with the local courts as well. If Rivas is found to be a U.S. citizen, he will be turned over to American authorities after he completes his time in jail in Mexicali.
Valenzuela said every week on the average, 5 cars are stolen in the area, some of them never to be seen again. But today there is a happy ending for a man and his car thanks to police collaboration on both sides of the border.