Parents picking up their children from Landmark Elementary School got startled Monday afternoon when a police chase ended not far from the school.
Three young men allegedly stole a landscaping truck and got into a hit-and-run crash before they were stopped by police officers on Ohlone Parkway near Kingfisher Drive, according to Watsonville police.
Augustine Miramondes, 19, and Ronald Saldivar and Ernesto Murillo, both 18, were arrested on suspicion of car theft and gang particiation. The driver, Miramondes, also was booked on suspicion of hit and run, police said.
The incident began just after 2 p.m. when cops were called to a hit-and-run crash on Freedom Boulevard near Stanford Avenue. An officer followed the vehicle suspected of fleeing the collision. The chase went past Clifford Avenue and Main Street and onto Ohlone, police said.
The truck was stopped at Kingfisher just as the owner of the truck called 9-1-1 to report it stolen, police said.
Officers, including a parking control officer, converged on the area to detain the men.
One Watsonville Patch reader reported via the Patch Facebook page: "I just picked my kids up from school, and turned out of the parking lot to see about 6 cops cars, 1 motorcycle cop, parking enforcement, and 3 guys sitting on the ground, here on Ohlone Parkway. As I get to the light, they block off the road and 2 more cops cars go toward the commotion."
The men were booked into County Jail.