Car thief arrested with drugs, guns and ammo

Mauricio Nava backs stolen SUV into patrol car, police also arrest two juveniles ages 15 and 17

The Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – Stealing a car on a mid-weekday morning was a risky move long before the coronavirus muffled our movements. But now, with residential neighborhoods lined with parked cars not commuting in the COVID-19 era, driving one of the only stolen cars in the county is a little more than conspicuous. 

That didn’t stop one man from committing the crime, as well as handful of others, as he tried to flee from police.

At 9:02 a.m. on April 8, a Hyundai Santa Fe was reported stolen from a residence in Visalia. Around 3:46 p.m., the stolen SUV was located by the Tulare County Reduce Auto Theft Taskforce (T-RATT) detectives as it pulled away from Riverway Sports Park in north Visalia. Detectives followed the vehicle to Kelly Drive in Dinuba where they attempted to contact the driver after the SUV pulled over in front of a residence. The driver, 20-year-old Mauricio Nava, threw the vehicle in reverse and backed into one of the patrol units that was assisting with the stop. He was ordered to place it in park and complied. 

Nava and two juvenile passengers ages 15 and 17 were taken into custody for possession of the stolen vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, a bag was located on the rear driver floorboard that contained a semi-automatic 9mm pistol with an aftermarket un-serialized 80% lower receiver, a 30- round capacity 9 mm magazine containing 21 bullets, 11 grams of narcotics for sale, a scale and cash. The driver and rear passenger were also charged with the weapons and drug-related charges.

Visalia Police Logs

Thursday, April 9
At 8:18 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to the 300 blk of NE 3rd for an assault with a deadly weapon that had just occurred. Officers arrived on scene and located a single victim with a stab wound. The victim was attempting to detain the suspect when officers arrived. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. The victim was transported to the hospital and is in stable condition. The suspect was booked at the Tulare County jail for assault with a deadly weapon. Please forward any additional questions to the PIO.

Tuesday, April 7
At 3:00 p.m. VPD Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement Team (HOPE) observed Jordan Burriel, 26, injecting a controlled substance, just north of the Lincoln Oval, at 1001 N. Court. Burriel was contacted and had in his possession prescription pills packaged for individual sales, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, burglary tools, and stolen property from an earlier, unreported, vehicle theft. HOPE investigated the theft and determined that Burriel was responsible for the theft. He was transported and booked into the Tulare County Pretrial facility for the following charges: possession of narcotics, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, theft, possession of burglary tools, possession of stolen property, possession of narcotics for sales and possession of narcotics in a drug free zone.

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