A man suspected of stealing more than a dozen cars in the past few weeks was arrested Tuesday night after officers staked out a stolen car near his home, police say.
Zachary Hamlin, 37, was arrested after investigators waited near a stolen car in an area believed to be close to his home in Arroyo Grande, according to a release from the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
After some surveillance of the car, found Tuesday in the 200 block of Whiteley Street, investigators saw Hamlin get into the vehicle, police said. When officers tried to arrest him, he fled on foot and was found hiding behind a nearby parked car, police said. He was then arrested.
According to jail records, Hamlin was arrested on suspicion of 15 car thefts, possessing burglary tools and violating probation. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to jail records.
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The arrest came just a day after police asked for the public’s help in locating Hamlin, who they believe is responsible for stealing at least some of the 40 cars reported stolen in San Luis Obispo County since the beginning of July. Police departments describe the number of stolen vehicle reports as a “sharp increase.”
The majority of the stolen cars have been Honda Civics and Accords dating from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, police said.