Three people were arrested on auto theft and drug charges after a police officer spotted them pushing a car toward a gas station in the early morning hours of Sept. 13, police reports said.
Officer Tim Martens saw two men and a woman pushing a Volkswagen Jetta near the 1800 block of Hopyard Road at around 2:53 a.m., according to the reports, which said Martens ran the plate, which came back expired, although the car showed it was registered. Contacted by the officer, all three people said they were helping a friend but didn't know the owner's name.
Inside the car, Martens spotted a glass pipe used for smoking drugs and a hypodermic needle on the car's dashboard along with a key broken off in the ignition; all three denied knowledge of the needle and pipe, the reports said. All three also refused to answer questions about a bike and leaf blower also found inside the car, according to the reports, which said a purse also inside the car tested positive for methamphetamine.
Police contacted the owner of the Jetta in Concord, who told police he'd left it at a repair shop in Tracy.
The two men, Forrest Chancellor, 49, no known address; Jeffrey Viado, 36, of Tracy; and the woman, Iran Cortes, 29, of Stockton were booked into Santa Rita Jail on charges of auto theft, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a hypodermic needle and paraphernalia possession.
The stolen plate belonged to a business in Stockton. Both the business owner and the owner of the repair shop told police they'd been having theft problems.
The bicycle and leaf blower were held by police because neither had been reported stolen.
Details of the incident have been sent to the District Attorney's Office, which will sort out the charges.