Rupert Michael Gil
Santa Barbara police and a county helicopter pursued a stolen vehicle Friday morning and arrested the driver on the city’s Westside.
The incident began shortly after 10 a.m., when a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s patrol vehicle received a LoJack alert about a stolen vehicle in the area of State Street and Highway 154, according to Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
The deputy attempted to pull over the vehicle — a red Cadillac — but the driver fled into the city.
The pursuit wound around from the Mission Street area, up to La Cumbre Road, across the freeway, then down Modoc Road to the Westside.
The driver ran several red lights, according to emergency radio traffic, so the officers driving in pursuit pulled back and had a county helicopter track the vehicle.
The chase ended at a vacant lot on the 1800 block of San Pascual Street, where the suspect exited the vehicle and was taken into custody at gunpoint moments later, Wagner said.
The suspect was identified as Rupert Michael Gil, 18, of Santa Maria, Wagner said.
Gil was being booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, felony evading arrest, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.
Our professional journalists are working round the clock to make sure you have the news and information you need in these uncertain times.
If you appreciate Noozhawk’s coronavirus coverage, and the rest of the local Santa Barbara County news we deliver to you 24/7, please become a member of our Hawks Club today.
You need us more than ever, and we need your support.
We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your confidence.