A 27-year-old Mill Valley woman was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing a man's car, driving up the coast and then burglarizing a remote home, Sonoma County sheriff's officials said.
The burglary took place July 4 at a property off Highway 1 near Stewart's Point, Sgt. Mike Raasch said.
A 70-year-old man walked home after having dinner at a friend's place and found a woman, later identified as Mayra Camargos Gaeta, leaning against a silver Toyota Prius in his driveway, Raasch said.
The man asked her to explain why she was on his land, and she told him she was looking for a friend, Raasch said. She drove away after a brief exchange.
<NO1><NO>Only after the man went inside did he realize his home had been burglarized. He called the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.
Someone had gone through his cupboards and refrigerator, snacked on crackers and other food, and took his car keys and an iPad, Raasch said.
Detectives now suspect that earlier on July 4, Gaeta had taken off without permission in a pickup owned by a friend of her mother, only to run out of gas in a neighborhood near Dillon Beach, Raasch said.
Raasch said she then entered an unlocked vacation rental where she found keys to a silver Toyota Prius and drove away, Raasch said.
Gaeta is suspected of then driving more than 50 miles north on Highway 1 to the private driveway in Stewart's Point, Raasch said.
On July 6, the Vacaville police pulled Gaeta over because a LoJack transmitter, a security device that can emit a radio signal to police if the car is stolen, alerted them that the car was stolen, Raasch said. She was arrested on suspicion of car theft.
Officers eventually traced an iPad found in the Prius to the Stewart's Point man and alerted the sheriff's Office.
Gaeta was out on bail when Sonoma County sheriff's detectives, aided by Mill Valley police, arrested her Tuesday in Mill Valley on suspicion of residential burglary and grand theft, Raasch said.
She's being held on $40,000 bail at the Marin County Jail.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.