Grass Valley man linked to car theft by dropped cell phone, police say
A cell phone found near a stolen vehicle helped lead Grass Valley police to the suspected thief and to the recovery of the car, authorities said.
Kendrick Van Abel, 25, of Grass Valley, faces two felony charges: vehicle theft and receipt of a stolen vehicle. He also faces a misdemeanor count of receipt of stolen property, Nevada County Jail reports state.
Arrested late Tuesday, Abel remained jailed Wednesday under $11,500 in bond, reports state.
According to Sgt. Jason Perry, officers arrested Abel after a winding investigation led them to a Pleasant Street apartment.
A 1997 green Honda Accord disappeared Monday night from the 200 block of Sutton Way and was discovered missing Tuesday morning. Police responded to the scene, took a report and issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for the car, Perry said.
At 1 p.m. Tuesday authorities spoke with a caller who said the stolen car was at a Penn Valley gas station, he added.
“It looks like the victim made a Facebook post on it,” Perry said.
Officers went to the scene and verified the vehicle was, in fact, the stolen car. They also spoke with witnesses, one of whom saw the suspect by the stolen car, the sergeant said.
Perry added that one witness found a cell phone by the missing car. The witness accessed a Facebook page on the phone and found a name: Kendrick Abel.
By that time the suspect had left in a different vehicle — a damaged, red, four-door sedan, the sergeant said.
Authorities began a search of the stolen vehicle, which yielded shaved keys, used by thieves to steal cars. Police also watched surveillance video taken at the gas station, which showed the suspect loading items from the stolen Accord to the red sedan, Perry said.
Officers began investigating the name “Abel,” which led them to Pleasant Street in Grass Valley. Around 6 p.m. Tuesday a police sergeant on patrol spotted a damaged, red, four-door car in that area. The sergeant saw a black, Honda steering wheel cover inside, which the victim of the Sutton Way car theft said was hers. A search for the red car’s owner led them to a nearby apartment, where they found Abel, Perry said.
Conditions imposed in an unrelated Sacramento County court case meant officers could search Abel’s room. In that room they found evidence, like 9 mm ammunition, which led to Abel’s arrest. Abel then said he stole the car from Sutton Way, Perry said.
“This took a lot of investigation to put all these pieces together,” he added.
To contact City Editor Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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