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Search for suspects in car theft puts Raleigh neighborhood on edge

Posted October 9, 2015

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— Butler Boulevard is normally a quiet place, but the neighborhood off New Hope Road in northeast Raleigh went through a tense period Friday morning as police searched for several people suspected of stealing a car.

The car was stolen from an apartment complex on Atlantic Avenue when the owner went back inside while it warmed up.

An officer spotted a car matching the description of the stolen vehicle on nearby Jupiter Street, and police said those inside jumped out and fled when it crashed into a utility pole.

Police blocked off area streets and fanned out, with guns drawn, through the neighborhood.

"My dogs had been going crazy for a little while, so I brought the dogs in and shut the door, and I started texting my neighbors and saying, 'Lock your doors. There's something going on,'" Jamie Parker said.

K-9s were brought in to help with the search, and officers checked under bushes and inside dog houses for the suspected thieves.

Sandra Foil said she arrived home to see people being chased by police through her back yard.

"As I pulled up, they were jumping the fence, the police and two guys they were chasing on foot," Foil said. "They jumped the fence and caught them next door."

Carlos Daniel Varona-Torres, 17, of 8809 Stockbridge Circle, Marco-Antonio Estrella Vargas, 16 of 6304 Shanda Drive, and Alek Brandon Gomez, 17, of 4315 Lake Ridge Drive, all of Raleigh, were charged with resisting a public officer. Gomez also was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and fleeing to elude arrest, while Vargas also was charged with misdemeanor larceny.

Two juvenile females also were arrested in the case.

"It was quite scary," Foil said. "We don't see this out here every day. We live in a very nice neighborhood, and to see something like this was quite disturbing first thing in the morning."

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