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Capitola Police: Man climbs tree before arrest on felony charges

Posted on in Dealing with the Police

A man who law enforcement describes as a parolee was arrested around 7:00 Monday morning behind the former Capitola Theater on serious felony charges. Police claim that they spotted the man sitting with two women in a small compact car around 1:00 Monday and believe he was involved in a series of alleged incidents involving a separate vehicle in Watsonville and Soquel more than twelve hours earlier.

Police claim the man was driving a blue Ford truck in Watsonville around 11:45 a.m. Sunday when he allegedly asked some people who apparently were standing in an alley for gas money. Law enforcement claims the man later ran the Ford into a car and, after displaying a gun to the driver, stole the driver's cellphone and money, before fleeing from the area. Police later concluded that the blue Ford had been stolen from near San Mateo.

While searching for the alleged stolen Ford and the man law enforcement suspected of the alleged robbery in Watsonville, authorities fielded a report that a vehicle struck a fence and propane tank in Soquel around 1:00 Sunday afternoon. Police claim the man again brandished a gun to witnesses before fleeing on foot. It was roughly twelve hours later that law enforcement claims to have spotted the man in the compact car with two women.

Police claim the man eluded police and eventually made his way into a tree in Capitola Village. A SWAT team was called in. Police believed that the man was armed and hiding out from police in the tree, roughly 150 feet above the ground. Capitola Police spoke with the man for several hours, and say that he climbed down from the tree after growing tired. When the man reached the ground, law enforcement learned that he was not armed at all.

Police arrested the 25-year-old Modesto man on suspicion of robbery, auto theft, brandishing a gun and resisting arrest after the Capitola standoff.

The two women who were in the compact car reportedly were also taken into custody on outstanding warrants. Police claim that a search of the car revealed alleged burglary tools.

Authorities have now expanded their suspicions of all three people and are reportedly seeking whether the trio can be linked to any other allegations of crimes. Police reportedly say that they are investigating whether the trio can be linked to an alleged auto burglary Sunday night in Aptos.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel via MercuryNews.com, "Armed parolee hides in tree for hours to evade deputies," Cathy Kelly, April 16, 2012

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