Two South Bay teenagers mourned the loss of their freedom on Independence Day after being arrested by Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies. The teens are suspected of stealing wallets and keys from two San Jose gyms and then escaping in stolen cars.
Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies booked Shantinee Martinez, 18, of San Jose into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for possessing stolen property. She remains in custody on $11,000 bail. The 16-year-old, who was on probation for attempted robbery, was booked into Juvenile Hall for possession of a stolen vehicle, stolen property, and violation of probation.
The two suspects allegedly posed as prospective customers at a Bally Total Fitness and a 24-Hour Fitness in San Jose, and asked to use the bathroom or tour the facilities. While unsupervised, they took wallets and keys from the gym's locker room and used the keys to steal cars in the parking lot, say police.
In the early morning hours of July 4, a sheriff's deputy patrolling unincorporated San Jose noticed a Ford F-150 truck driving erratically on Mt. Hamilton Road. When a registration check showed that the car was stolen, several deputies stopped the truck, which was being driven by the 16-year-old and had five other passengers, including Martinez.
Police found driver's licenses, credit cards, and money believed to be stolen from the fitness centers. They said they also found four additional wallets that did not belong to patrons at either gym. The two teens were arrested at the scene.
Three of the other passengers were cited for being in possession in alcoholic beverages, and a 16-year-old female passenger who had been reported missing in San Jose was returned to her mother.
Anyone with information on similar crimes should call Detective Sgt. Elder at (408) 808-4500, or use the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431