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Officer responds, car gets stolen

Posted: September 6, 2008 9:08 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2008 5:00 a.m.
A man who was apparently inebriated was arrested early Saturday after stealing a security officer's car and summarily crashing, according to a California Highway Patrol official.

At around 1:25 a.m., CHP officers responded to a traffic collision that involved a person driving under the influence near Stevenson Ranch Parkway, according to Sgt. Rob Lund of the CHP Newhall area station.

It turned out that Michael Barela, 47, had stolen a car from a security patrol officer responding to a noise disturbance at a Stevenson Ranch home, Lund said. The officer parked his car outside the Stevenson Ranch home when Barela got inside the patrol car and drove off, Lund said. It was unclear how he got the keys to the car.

Initially, deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station responded as Barela drove east on Poe Parkway before turning onto Stevenson Ranch Parkway, according to Lund. The car then collided with a U-turn sign, Lund said, and CHP officers were called to arrest Barela, who was found to be under the influence.

His charges involve stealing a vehicle and driving under the influence, Lund said. Barela is being held at the Sheriff's Station.


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