Crime - Sacto 911

Unmarked police car stolen, then recovered in Del Paso Heights

Julio Ortega
Julio Ortega Sacramento Police Department

A man made off with an unmarked Sacramento police car Tuesday night, dragging an officer a short distance in the process.

The stolen vehicle was eventually recovered, police said. The suspected thief, Julio Ortega, 26, was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, carjacking and a probation violation.

Sacramento police said the theft occurred about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday near Harris Avenue and Fell Street in Del Paso Heights when Sacramento police officers were conducting a search of a car.

While they were away searching the car, a man entered the unmarked patrol vehicle and began to drive away. Officers ran to their vehicle and one officer reached through the window to stop the car thief.

The officer was dragged a short distance and suffered minor injuries, according to a police activity report. Dispatchers helped track the patrol vehicle via GPS to nearby Harris Avenue and Elm Street.

Ortega, the man police believe stole the patrol vehicle, was at the scene. Officers detained him and determined he had an outstanding warrant from the Bay Area.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews