Traffic stop yields guns, stolen property

Suspect accused of stealing vehicle, threatening passenger

David Lopez

A Los Banos man was arrested in Hollister Thursday with an illegal firearm, a stolen vehicle, burglary tools and other contraband, according to San Benito County Sheriff’s Office authorities.

About 2:30pm March 22, Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Leist observed a Honda make a vehicle code violation in the area of Union Road at Southside Road in the unincorporated area of San Benito County, according to a press release. Leist made a traffic stop on the Honda, which authorities later learned had been stolen out of Dos Palos.

The driver of the Honda, David Lopez, 34, of Los Banos, was arrested on suspicion of a variety of offenses during the enforcement stop, according to authorities. Lopez is also on Post-Release Community Supervision.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies found a suspected methamphetamine pipe, a lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle and an Airsoft pellet gun that had been altered to resemble a real firearm, according to authorities.

A female passenger was also in the car, and authorities later learned that Lopez threatened her so she would not cooperate with officers during the traffic stop, police said.

Lopez was booked at San Benito County Jail on a list of suspected offenses, including:

  • Two $100,000 felony warrants out of Merced County;
  • Vehicle theft;
  • Possession of stolen property;
  • Possession of burglary tools;
  • Possession of a high capacity ammunition magazine;
  • Possession or transport of machine gun/parts;
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia;
  • Felon in possession of a firearm;
  • Altering a replica firearm;
  • Felon in possession of a “stun gun;”
  • Criminal threats.

“It was the proactive, inquisitive stop by Deputy Leist that made the recovery of this stolen vehicle and firearm possible,” reads the press release.

Anyone with information on this case can contact the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office on the anonymous tip line at (831) 636-4084.

 

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