SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A Santa Maria man has been arrested for allegedly stealing property from JCPennys and leading police officers on a pursuit.
Officers say 38-year-old Gabriel Valencia ran out of JCPennys in Santa Maria around 1 p.m. with stolen items. He jumped into a waiting car that led officers on a pursuit.
Officers stopped chasing him because of the danger risk in high traffic, but Valencia continued to flee. A short time later, he was arrested at the 500 block of East Church. He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for commercial burglary and felony evading arrest.
Officials believe Valencia has gang ties. The two other occupants of the car have not been identified. Anyone with more information is urged to call Santa Maria Police at (805) 928-3781.
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