Arrest Made in 2-Year-Old Car Theft Case

Probation officer drives past a man in Novato and recognizes him as someone wanted by the court system. He was seen driving a stolen car in Strawberry in 2010.

An off-duty probation officer with keen eyes recognized a man walking on a Novato street as someone with an outstanding bench warrant tied to an auto theft 2 1/2 years ago, authorities said Tuesday.

Jesse Ohara, 40, who lives in the unincorporated Indian Valley area of Novato, was seen driving a stolen car in February 2010 in the Strawberry area of unincorporated Mill Valley.

On Tuesday, Ohara was walking on the Rowland Boulevard overpass over Highway 101 at 11:55 a.m. when the probation officer spotted him, said Lt. Barry Heying of the Marin County Sheriff's Department. were contacted and an arrest was made without incident 20 minutes later near the intersection of Rowland Boulevard and Rowland Way.

Heying said the stolen car Ohara was seen driving had been taken from a Marin City location in August 2009. Ohara was surveilled and then stopped and arrested on suspicion of car theft and a probation violation, Heying said.

During a subsequent probation compliance check at Ohara's house, deputies found narcotics and evidence that he had been providing false urine samples to the county probation department to conceal drug use. Heying said Ohara has failed to comply with court orders at least twice, resulting in bench warrants for his arrest.

Ohara, who listed his occupation as a rancher, faces felony charges of grand theft and possession of a stolen vehicle. His bail was set at $50,000.

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