Novato Police apprehended two suspects Friday on suspicion of auto theft and various drug-related after determining that the vehicle they were driving had been reported stolen two days ago.
The arrest took place near the Atherton Avenue exit on Highway 101 shortly after midnight.
Officer Stephanie Commisto was following the vehicle when she received a hit from the ALPR system (Automate License Plate Reader). This hit notified her that the vehicle’s license plate was reported lost or stolen out of Antioch.
Novato Police just added the ALPR system to its patrol cars this August.
Lt. Keith Heiden explained that a device is mounted atop cars that scan license plates. If there is a match with the Dept. of Justice’s stolen vehicle system, the officer is alerted. Heiden said ALPR assists with stolen cars and missing person cases. In this case, two arrests.
Driver Lisa Hazelwood, 30, and passenger Jason Michael Vigil, 32, both from Sonoma County, were arrested.
Officer Commisto learned that Hazelwood was on parole and Vigil was on probation out of Sonoma County. The officer searched the vehicle and located a large amount of hashish concealed in the dashboard. In addition, suspected stolen property was located in the passenger compartment and truck bed.
Hazelton was suspected of possibly being under the influence of a controlled substance. She submitted to a series of sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for drug possession and driving under the influence. Vigil was also placed under arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance, drug possession and probation violation.
The license plate was later verified as being stolen on Oct. 24 in Antioch. Vigil and Hazelwood were booked at Marin County Jail for the listed charges. The vehicle, a green 1988 Chevrolet truck, was towed from the scene. It is still being investigated if the truck was stolen or reporter missing.
Officers Blake Dunbar and Ryan Patrick participated in the arrest.