A Sonora man was arrested early Tuesday morning when he was discovered passed out in a bright red Ford sedan that had rolled down a hill and onto an embankment on South Arbona Circle.
Sonora Police Department dispatcher and records specialist Krishna Livingston said there was no information that indicated the suspect was under the influence at the time of his arrest. Officers were also not sure when the suspect entered the vehicle before he was discovered by a passerby, who believed he was witnessing the result of a DUI incident, at about 5:30 a.m.
Sonora Police officers found the car slumped against a grassy embankment, and a man asleep behind the wheel.
The street was mostly vacant at that hour.
The officers woke up the suspect and learned that he had gotten into the car through an unlocked door, released the emergency break, and attempted to put the vehicle in reverse.
The suspect did not have a key to the vehicle and did not not appear as if the engine had been running, Livingston said.
The owners did not know the suspect, and they did not give him permission to drive the vehicle, Livingston said.
Noel Pedro Figueroa, 19, of Sonora, was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on suspicion of felony vehicle theft on Tuesday morning.
As of Wednesday morning, Figueroa remained in jail.
Figueroa was also arrested by the Sonora Police Department on Sunday evening in front of Sierra Instant Printing on Mono Way on similar charges — tampering with a vehicle and attempted vehicle theft, both misdemeanors.
At about 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, Figueroa was held down by four people before the arrival of officers when he was discovered sitting in the driver’s seat of a person’s vehicle without permission.