SWAT and K-9s track down Lake Elsinore car thieves

LAKE ELSINORE — Two men who fled from a stolen vehicle during a Lake Elsinore traffic stop were later tracked down and apprehended while hiding in thick foliage and underbrush, Thursday afternoon, April 25.

The duo was discovered hiding in the area of Lake St. and Temescal Canyon Rd., by Riverside County SWAT members and sheriff’s K-9s, who were called in to aid in the pair’s apprehension.


UPDATE: Anderson standoff with sword-wielding “sovereign citizen” ends with arrest

3 officers hospitalized after Shasta College melee with parolee

Sale of “super cute” jeans leads to most wanted capture

Thursday’s incident began just after noon, when deputies from the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station responded to the area of Grand Ave. and Bonnie Way, regarding the report of a stolen vehicle, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Vickers later reported.

With the aid of a sheriff’s aviation crew overhead in “Star-9,” patrol deputies quickly located the stolen vehicle about ten miles away, traveling northbound on Lake Street, toward I-15. 

When deputies initiated a high-risk, felony traffic stop in the area of Temescal Canyon Rd., west of Lake St., the driver stopped along the shoulder of of the road and both occupants immediately fled into the adjacent field. 

“Responding deputies established a perimeter to prevent the escape of the suspects … and Riverside County SWAT deputies and K9 units responded to the area to assist with the search for the suspects,” explained Vickers. 

With Star-9 circling overhead, providing constant updates to deputies on the ground below, heavily armed SWAT members and the responding K-9 units soon located and apprehended the suspects hiding in the thick vegetation.

After their apprehension, deputies identified the pair as Wildomar residents, Jose Antonio Yanez Gonzalez, 41, and Jose Franco, 35. Both men were subsequently arrested and transported to Cois Bryd Detention Center.

Yanez Gonzalez was booked into jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Jail records indicate he remains in custody on $200,000 bail.

Franco was booked on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, DUI, and failure to pay a fine. He also remains in custody, held in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Both men are scheduled to be arraigned at Southwest Justice Center, April 29.

After the arrests, Vickers used the opportunity to remind all area residents, “Community policing involves partnerships between law enforcement and community members. Business owners and residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity directly to law enforcement by calling Sheriff’s Dispatch at (951) 776-1099, or by calling 911 if the matter is an emergency.”

Anyone with further information regarding this ongoing investigation is encouraged to contact Deputy Moore or Deputy Chambers at (951) 245-3300. Callers can refer to incident file number F191150019 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.