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Pair arrested for grand theft auto

July 30, 2012

An Inyo County sheriff’s investigator assists the Bishop Police Department on a felony traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of two Lancaster residents for alleged vehicle theft. Photo by Mike Gervais

A routine traffic stop Thursday morning resulted in the arrest of two Lancaster residents and the recovery of a stolen vehicle.
According to Bishop Police Department Public Information Officer Katie Coffman, an officer stopped Ryan William Dunham, 33 and Charity Leeann Swagler, 34, at about 11:13 a.m. for a “minor” infraction involving a defective windshield.
While running the driver, Swangler, and vehicle information, officers were advised by dispatch that the vehicle, a 2002 Mercedes, had been reported stolen out of the Lancaster area more than a month ago.
Coffman said the report of a stolen vehicle prompted a felony traffic stop, which required officers to block the number two lane of southbound traffic on U.S. 395 for about seven minutes “for the safety of the public” as the suspects were taken into custody.
With the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, Inyo County Sheriff’s Department and Inyo Narcotic Enforcement Team, Dunham and Swangler were taken into custody and transported to Inyo County Jail, where they are awaiting arraignment on charges of vehicle theft.

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