SOQUEL HILLS

Deputies seek armed burglar

Deputies were looking Tuesday for a man who broke into two homes and stole a Ford Explorer.

A resident returned to his home on North Rodeo Gulch Road in the early afternoon and saw a burglar inside, said Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy April Skalland.

He chased the burglar, who had a gun or a toy gun, authorities said.

As the burglar fled in a silver Lexus, the man smashed some of its windows. The resident relayed the license plate number to authorities, but it was a California exempt plate that was stolen from a local firefighter, authorities said. The Lexus was reported out of San Francisco.

Deputies and California Highway Patrol officers surrounded the Soquel area and issued an alert, which described the man as white and about 5 feet 5 inches tall, Skalland said. He wore shorts, a sports team jacket, but there was no further description. The alert was called off about 1:55 p.m.

About that time, another resident on Hall Ranch Road arrived home and found the silver Lexus parked near the home. The resident's blue 1997 Ford Explorer with a trailer hitch and tinted rear windows was stolen from the garage. Its license plate number is 3TIC192, though the suspect may replace the plates, Sgt. Robin Mitchell warned.


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Deputies tried to find the Ford on Tuesday. They have not said whether anything was taken from the homes, but Mitchell said the same suspect may have been responsible for the theft of ammunition from a home on Sage Lane, off North Rodeo Gulch Road.

SOQUEL

Burglars target marijuana dispensary

Burglars smashed a glass door and took about $3,000 worth of marijuana and marijuana products from Granny Purps medical marijuana dispensary on Sunday night.

Four suspects wearing masks and hooded sweatshirts burglarized the store at 2649 41st Ave. about 10:20 p.m., said Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy April Skalland.

Video surveillance showed the burglars throwing river rocks through a glass door, kicking the glass out and entering the shop. An alarm sounded, and they grabbed items from the front lobby area and fled in the car, Skalland said.

Deputies responded minutes later, but the burglars got away.