CARPINTERIA — A tire thief picked the wrong gas station to loot Thursday, as the station’s owner pursued the suspect until highway patrol authorities were able to intercept.
A red pickup truck pulled into the Carpinteria neighborhood 76 gas station at Santa Monica Road, immediately adjacent to a handy 101 freeway onramp. After the truck’s driver had pumped his gas, he apparently “forgot” to pay for the set of four tires he summarily threw into the back of his pickup truck before driving away.
Making his escape via the northbound 101 freeway, Ventura resident Claudio Nava Robes, 37, would have seen no black-and-whites on his tail.
But what Robles should have been concerned about was the bright orange Corvette cruising some distance behind and staying on his tail. The driver of the high-powered sports car was none other than the owner of the gas station, who had just moments before witnessed the theft of his retail offerings and was now on his cell phone alerting CHP dispatch to the theft and ensuing pursuit.
The gas station owner followed Robles several miles into Montecito, where he eventually cornered the fleeing pickup truck and boxed him in. Shortly thereafter, helped by the Corvette driver’s ongoing cell phone directions, CHP officers arrived and took Robles into custody at gunpoint. Robles was summarily arrested on suspicion of grand theft and booked into Santa Barbara C