SONOMA -- An Oakland couple was arrested on theft and stolen property charges after a pursuit and huge search in the Sonoma Plaza area Wednesday afternoon.

The events began when a woman reported a man breaking into her car in the 200 block of Temelec Circle in Schellville while a woman waited in a burgundy van nearby around 10:20 a.m., Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett said.

A sheriff's deputy stopped the van on Arnold Drive in Petaluma, and the female driver drove off with the auto burglary suspect reclining in the passenger seat. The deputy was struck in the arm with the van's side view mirror as the van fled, Sackett said.

The van, later determined to have been stolen in Concord, was found abandoned in the 300 block of First Street West in Sonoma, Sackett said.

A citizen then reported seeing someone throw a shotgun out of the van at Petaluma Avenue and Riverside Drive after fleeing the traffic stop, Sackett said.

Deputies searched the Sonoma Plaza area and a vineyard area off Lovall Valley Road where a man was seen running, Sackett said. Businesses in the area were notified of the search and were asked to call police with any information.

Police received a call around 1 p.m. from a man in La Casa restaurant on the Sonoma Plaza who said a man matching the suspect's description asked to use his cell phone. Deputies responded and arrested James Rivas, 37, of Oakland and continued searching for the female suspect, Sackett said.


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At 2 p.m., a woman reported her home in the 300 block of First Street West had been burglarized and her Toyota Camry was stolen, Sackett said. Evidence indicated the female suspect changed into some of the victim's clothing.

Deputies located the Camry around 2:45 p.m. parked in front of the Cheese Factory on Spain Street, and detectives in unmarked cars staked-out the Camry waiting for the female suspect to return.

The female, dressed in the victim's clothing and carrying a bag of items stolen from the woman's house, returned to the Camry at 2:45 p.m., Sackett said.

Police arrested 33-year-old Marissa Serafino of Oakland for possession of stolen property, evading arrest, resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, burglary, vehicle theft and weapons charges, Sackett said.

Rivas was arrested for possession of stolen property, resisting arrest, violation of community parole, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, ammunition and a loaded firearm. Sackett said.

Both suspects also were arrested on outstanding burglary warrants out of Alameda County, Sackett said.

California Highway Patrol air and ground units joined the Sonoma County sheriff's deputies, helicopter and K-9 unit in the search around the plaza.

The sheriff's office provides police services to Sonoma.



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