A person allegedly seen siphoning gas on a neighborhood street led to the arrest of two people on suspicion of drug and auto theft charges early Tuesday in Murrieta, according to police.
Robert Maitland Zinsley, 43, of Manhattan Beach and Timothy Hans Sorensen, 40, of Wildomar were taken into custody shortly after the apparent theft of gasoline was reported in the 39000 block of Avenida Migeul Oeste, Murrieta police Sgt. Don Weller stated in a news release.
Murrieta officers responded at 1:04 a.m. Tuesday to the neighborhood just east of Interstate 215 and south of Los Alamos Road after receiving a report that a person was seen underneath a vehicle removing gasoline.
The person, later identified as Zinsley, was allegedly seen "walking into a residence with the gas container in hand," Weller said. "Upon the officers' arrival, the subject fled on foot and into the residence. Officers made contact with six subjects inside of the residence and detained them pending a further investigation."
Zinsley was on probation for assault in Los Angeles County, which allowed him to be searched, Weller said it was revealed when a computer check was ran.
A search was conducted and Zinsley was allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine.
Further, with the assistance of a Riverside Auto Theft Interdiction Detail (R.A.I.D.) investigator, Weller said a check of several motocross bikes in the home's garage was conducted.
Two of the motocross bikes came back as stolen: one allegedly from Wildomar and the other from Albuquerque, N.M.
It was also determined that the vehicle Zinsley was suspected of siphoning gas from had been reported stolen from Menifee.
A travel trailer on the property was checked but did not have any identifiable numbers or information, according to Weller; however, it was confiscated for further investigation by R.A.I.D.
Zinsley was arrested on suspicion of possession of: a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and a stolen motor vehicle. He was booked at Southwest Detention Center near Murrieta and later released on $5,000 bail.
Sorensen, who was among those contacted in the Avenida Miguel Oste residence, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine. He was released on $25,000 bail.
"The other four subjects at the residence were identified and released at the scene without further incident," Weller stated.
Anyone with information pertaining to this investigation was encouraged to call 951-696-3615 and ask for the on-duty watch commander. Tips may also be provided anonymously through “We Tip” at 1-800-78-CRIME.
"This investigation is a prime example of how the citizens of our community and the police can work together in order to reduce the amount of crime in our city," Weller said. "In addition, we’d like to encourage our citizens to contact the Murrieta Police Department at 951-696-3615, if they witness any suspicious persons or vehicles in their neighborhood so that it can be investigated."