BARSTOW – A 43-year-old Barstow man was arrested on Tuesday after stealing a van from an organization that services developmentally disabled adults.
On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at around 8:28 a.m., employees from B.E.S.T. Opportunities, located at 120 Cal Avenue in the City of Barstow reported that one of their fifteen passenger vans was missing from their lot. When the officer arrived he reviewed the businesses video surveillance which captured the theft. The video captured clear video surveillance of the male subject walk up to the van, gain entry, and drive it away.
The responding officer recognized the subject in the video from prior contacts and identified him as 43-year-old Barstow resident, Gabriel Tafoya. The officer broadcasted the suspect and vehicle information and officers began searching for the vehicle. Hours later, at around 11:02 a.m. the vehicle was located parked and unoccupied behind the Vons located at 1270 East Main Street in the City of Barstow. An area search was conducted, but Tafoya was not located.
Police processed the vehicle for evidence and the vehicle was subsequently released to a B.E.S.T. Opportunities employee. Tafoya was located by a sergeant on the 200 block of East Main Street at around 3:00 p.m. The sergeant made contact with Tafoya, located additional evidence linking him to the theft, and placed him under arrest for automobile theft. He was booked into the High Desert Detention Center and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. Tafoya is scheduled to appear at the Victorville Superior Court on Thursday afternoon.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation can contact Officer Joseph Silva at (760) 256-2211. Those wishing to remain anonymous can also report criminal activity by calling the WE-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or may leave information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com.
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