Police thwart car theft in Orange

Police thwart car theft in Orange

Police in Orange responding to an alarm at Cecil Atkission Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Orange thwarted an attempt to steal a GMC Yukon and other items from the car lot on Sept. 11, reports the Orange Police Department (OPD).

According to OPD Officer Michael Roush, officers responded to the alarm at 4103 Interstate 10 at 3:48 a.m. Roush stated in his report that he arrived a few minutes after the alarm and saw a white GMC Yukon with the engine running parked near the southwest back corner door of the business. As Roush approached, he saw a man run out the door from inside the business. The man ran to the Yukon and climbed into the driver's seat. Roush pointed his service weapon at the suspect and told the man, later identified as Jesse Don Smith, 26, of Orange, to get out of the vehicle and lie down. He complied. 

Once Smith was on the ground, Roush reported that he looked around and observed damage to the business. The large window to the door from where the suspect ran was shattered on the ground, and the door itself displayed pry marks, Roush remarked. He reported seeing damage to inner doors at the business and to equipment, and noted that the lock box for vehicle keys was found open outside the dealership. Desk drawers were also ajar, Roush stated.

When the officer looked inside the Yukon, which was discovered to be property of the dealership, he reportedly discovered a number of items. Most of the property inside the vehicle proved to the suspect's, except an Apple iPad tablet, which Roush said Smith admitted taking from one of the desk drawers at the business. 

The value of the Yukon is estimated to be $26,995. Smith was charged with felony theft and burglary of a building and taken to the Orange County Jail.