Car theft suspect arrested in Petaluma

A man suspected of stealing a car was arrested in Petaluma Saturday after residents of the Southgate neighborhood contacted police about a car being driven recklessly.

Soon after Petaluma police officers arrived, a resident told them his car, a red Toyota Sienna, had just been stolen from Lakeville Circle. It was identified as the same car that had been reported as driving recklessly in the area.

Officers located the vehicle, parked and unoccupied. Soon they obtained surveillance video from a resident showing a man leaving the car and fleeing on foot, Petaluma Police Sgt. Ryan Suhrk said in a news release.

Police canvassed the neighborhood and soon found someone who looked like the man on video. Benjamin Padgett, 39, of Santa Rosa was identified by a witness, and he was arrested on suspicion of car theft and taken to Sonoma County Jail and booked, Suhrk said.

Padgett was recently arrested on suspicion of committing the same crime, he added.

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at

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