Four low-level inmates from the Santa Cruz County jail working at a Santa Cruz County state beach as part of a county Department of Public Works program helped authorities nab two car break-in suspects Tuesday afternoon, a Santa Cruz County sheriff's spokeswoman said.
The inmate crew and one public works employee were near Manresa State Beach near Watsonville when they witnessed a car break-in around 2:15 p.m.
The crew noticed the two suspects fleeing in a getaway vehicle, Santa Cruz County sheriff's Deputy April Skalland said.
The inmates called the sheriff's office with the suspect vehicle license plate number and description and the public works employee briefly trailed the vehicle, Skalland said.
Eventually the California Highway Patrol and Watsonville police tracked down the vehicle at the Chevron gas station at 200 Lee Road in Watsonville, Skalland said.
Two suspects came out of the gas station convenience store that matched the inmates' description of the thieves, Skalland said.
The two men were arrested and stolen property was allegedly found in the car, she said.
The pair was identified as Juan Rosales, 23, of Watsonville, and Eduardo Romero-Reynoso, 20, of Santa Cruz.
They were both booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on auto burglary charges.
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