Stolen truck recovered thanks to eagle-eyed brother

VISALIA — One Central Valley man’s eagle eye helped his brother out Monday, when Wilfredo Gastelum spotted his brother’s stolen truck traveling the streets of Visalia.

Gastelum followed the red 1994 Chevy pickup, which had been reported stolen to the California Highway Patrol on Friday, according to Sgt. Steve Phillips of the Visalia Police Department. While in pursuit, Gastelum called the Visalia police and told them that he was following his brother’s stolen vehicle.

When Ramone Frederico Gonzalez of Tulare pulled the stolen truck over at the corner of Cotta and Vassar streets in Visalia, Gastelum blocked the truck in and confronted Gonzalez. Soon the police arrived and Officer Alex Barton-Sabo arrested Gonzalez, 39, for possession of stolen property, auto theft and possession of drug paraphernalia — a glass pipe, according to Sgt. Phillips.

There was no indication of any connection between Gonzalez and the truck’s owner, Jesus Gastelum, who was later reunited with his pickup, according to Sgt. Phillips.


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