Walla Walla police recover stolen car in less than an hour

WALLA WALLA POLICE NEWS RELEASE -- A vehicle reported stolen near a worksite on Cayuse Street was recovered in less than 1 hour after officers found it parked at a grocery store at 5th and Rose St.

The victim, a construction worker, reported that his 1996 Ford, Crown Victoria was stolen from the area of Washington Park at 11:51 a.m. While the officer was taking the report, the victim received a call that his car was on 2nd Ave. A short time later, a 9-1-1 Dispatcher observed the vehicle westbound on Rose Street from 2nd Avenue. Officers found the vehicle parked and unoccupied at the Carniceria La Barata grocery store. Officers entered the store and arrested the driver, Hugo Humberto Martinez-Ramirez, 31, 727 N. 12th Ave.

The vehicle was returned to the owner, however, a construction laser valued at $8,000, which had been in the vehicle at the time of the theft, has not been recovered at this time. It is described as a Topcon Dual-Slope laser in a yellow case.

Martinez-Ramirez was lodged at the Walla Walla County Jail for 1 count of Possession of Stolen Property 1st Degree.