Repeat offender caught in stolen car


Some criminals never learn, and Orange has definitely had its share of repeat offenders. This week, a man arrested for public intoxication and for sus­pected PCP use in January was again arrested in Orange, this time after reportedly stealing a car.

Orange Police arrested 28-year-old Darrell Prater of Orange on Feb. 1 for the second time in as many months. Accord­ing to a police report from OPD, officers investigating a report of a stolen Infiniti sedan at Walgreen’s on 16th Street in Orange at about 7:25 p.m. tracked down the pur­loined vehicle last reported driving eastbound on Burton Avenue. They caught up with car in the 200 block of West Cypress Avenue and found a single male occupant matching the description of the car thief that witnesses gave at the scene. The man was sitting in the sto­len vehicle with the headlights on and engine running. Offi­cers immediately recognized Prater, according to the report.

The victim estimated the vehicle to be worth approxi­mately $7,100 and the contents of the vehicle valued about $600. She indicated to police she would press charges.

Staff of the store where the incident occurred told police they would be able to provide video of the event to detectives investigating the case.

Prater was arrested on suspicion of car theft and three out­standing warrants, one of those for public intoxication. Officers trans­ported him to the Orange County Jail. Prater reportedly refused to make a statement while in police custody.

Prater is no stranger to scrapes with the law. Orange Police arrested Prater on Jan. 3 after receiving reports of a man lying in the roadway wielding a knife in the area of North 11th Street and Wrenway. Upon arrival at approximately 8:47 p.m., OPD Capt. Eric Ellison reported observing Prater in the road holding a 4-inch, black-handled Defender knife.

“It was very apparent to this officer that the subject was under the influence of an unknown narcotic. … Prater had an odor emitting from his person that smelled like phen­cyclidine (PCP),” Ellison wrote.

Prater was arrested and tak­en to the Orange County Jail, not for his first visit. In fact, Prater was in trouble last year, too.

On Sept. 23, 2013, at about 9:53 p.m., Officer James Roy of OPD observed a man lying in the middle of the roadway in the 2800 block of West Park Avenue in Orange near a bicy­cle. According to Officer Roy, the man was saying, “Jesus, help me!” and “Oh no, not again!” The man reportedly identified himself to the officer as Prater. As he was patting Prater down, Roy smelled the odor of what he believed to be PCP. He reported that Prater’s speech was slurred and his bal­ance unsteady. Prater was arrested for public intoxication.