Stolen Vehicle and Theft Tools Located in Willits With Three Suspects, Says Mendocino Sheriff
This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 07-21-17 at approximately 7:45 P.M., a Deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was on uniformed patrol in the Willits, California.
The Deputy observed a sedan traveling in the area of Sherwood Hill Drive and noticed multiple vehicle infractions being committed.
The Deputy initiated a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle in the area of Sherwood Hill Drive and Pomo Court. The Deputy contacted the driver, who was recognized from prior contacts as Brandon Lawson. Lawson was asked to exit the vehicle because the license plates on the sedan did not match the vehicle that was stopped by the Deputy.
Additional Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, along with officers from the Willits Police Department and California Highway Patrol arrived to assist with this investigation. Upon providing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to dispatch, the Deputies learned the vehicle had been reported as stolen from the Lucerne, California. Lawson and the other occupants in the vehicle were detained at that time.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, Deputies located numerous “shaved” and blank ignition keys inside the passenger compartment. The Deputies knew these items to be common tools used to commit vehicle thefts so the keys were secured as evidence.
During this continuing investigation, Lawson was found to be on summary probation and was also in possession of methamphetamine. Lawson was advised and placed under arrest for 10851(a) VC [Motor Vehicle Theft], 466.6(a) PC [Possession of Shaved Vehicle Key], 11377(a) HS [Possession of a Controlled Substance], and 1203.2 PC [Violation of Probation].
The other passengers in the vehicle were also questioned regarding this investigation. Deputies ultimately advised and placed Heather Schmidt under arrest for a felony and misdemeanor warrant for her arrest issued in Mendocino County. Kylee Wood was also advised and placed under arrest for 11377(a) HS [Possession of a Controlled Substance], and 11364 (a) HS [Possession of Drug Paraphernalia].
Lawson and Schmidt were subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where they were both to be held in lieu of $15,000.00 bail. Wood was cited and released for her charges at the scene.