Routine traffic stop leads to arrest of alleged car thief in South Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA >> A routine traffic early Saturday led to the arrest of a man driving a stolen car through South Pasadena, along with drugs, burglary tools and an outstanding warrant for auto theft, police said.
The arrest took place about 1 a.m. after an officer pulled over a 2017 Nissan Rogue SUV for a traffic violation at Mission Street and Fairview Avenue, South Pasadena police Sgt. Spencer Louie said.
The vehicle was equipped with paper license plates, but when the officer ran the SUV’s vehicle identification number, he learned it had been reported stolen in South Pasadena in late-June, according to the sergeant.
Police took the driver into custody without a struggle and also discovered a small amount of methamphetamine and burglary tools inside the stolen SUB, Spencer said. Additionally, the man had an outstanding warrant related to an auto theft case.
Joel Ramirez, 26, of Los Angeles was booked on suspicion of auto theft, possession of burglary tools and possession of methamphetamine, and was also being held in connection with his warrant, Louie said.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records, Ramirez pleaded “no contest” on March 3 to a charge of taking a car without the owner’s consent, stemming from an arrest two days earlier . He was sentenced to 120 days in county jail and three years of formal probation. He served three weeks in jail before being released on March 23.
More recently, in May, he was convicted of methamphetamine possession, records show. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of summary probation. He was released after serving seven days.
Ramirez criminal history also includes convictions for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2017; two counts of taking a car without the owner’s consent, petty theft, and methamphetamine possession in 2016; two counts of methamphetamine possession, possession of a switchblade knife and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2015; and violating a restraining order in 2014.
Ramirez was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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