A convicted felon and another man suspected of stealing vehicles and auto parts over a roughly two-month span in Moreno Valley were behind bars Thursday.
Raul Montes, 27, and Jose Osmin Padilla, 23, were arrested Wednesday night following a Riverside County sheriff's investigation that began in early April.
Montes was booked into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and parole violations. He's being held without bail.
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Padilla was booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of burglary tools and trespassing. He's being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
According to sheriff's Sgt. Ryan Marcuse, deputies with the RobberyBurglary Suppression Team had been developing leads since April 3 regarding a series of thefts involving vehicles and certain auto parts.
The offenses occurred at different locations, and investigators relied on the Moreno Valley Citywide Camera System to identify a Toyota Tacoma pickup ultimately determined to be connected to the suspects, Marcuse alleged.
He said a stakeout was established, and about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, deputies stopped the vehicle in the area of Fir Avenue and Perris Boulevard.
Montes and Padilla were questioned at the scene and taken into custody without incident, the sergeant said.
According to Marcuse, the suspects allegedly favored tailgates and may have stolen as many as 20 between early April and late May.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Robbery-Burglary Suppression Team at 951-686-6700.