A man and woman were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing two air conditioning units from the backyard of a French Valley home, a sheriff's sergeant said.
Deputies responded at 8:03 a.m. to the 31500 block of Wintergreen Way in French Valley when a witness reported seeing suspicious activity at the home, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Jon Wade, said in a news release.
"A witness reported seeing a male suspect exit a vehicle, jump a wall into the rear yard of the residence and emerge from the rear yard a short time later carrying property," Wade said. "The witness reported that the suspects had placed the property into a waiting vehicle and fled the area. The suspect's vehicle was described as a blue Saturn 4-door vehicle."
A responding deputy stopped the Saturn as it was being driven out of the housing tract, the sergeant said.
"Inside of the vehicle the deputy could clearly see a large aluminum air conditioning coil on the rear seat of the vehicle," Wade said.
The driver, identified as Maria Rebecca Alvarez, 36, of Winchester and her boyfriend, Jarred Keith Newell, 37 of Hemet were detained while deputies investigated, he said.
"Alvarez was acting as both a lookout and the getaway driver," Wade said. "A search of the vehicle revealed both stolen air conditioning units as well as burglary tools used to dismantle the units."
Alvarez and Newell were later booked into Southwest Detention Center on suspicion of grand theft, conspiracy to commit grand theft, possession of burglary tools and violation of probation, the sergeant said.
Newell was released Tuesday on $35,000 bail and was due in court Feb. 14, 2013, jail records indicated.
Alvarez posted $5,000 bail and was released Wednesday; she was due in court Feb. 13, 2013, records showed.
Anyone with information regarding the investigation was encouraged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff's Southwest Patrol Station at 951-696-3000.