A local homeless man with a Toyota Camry key that fit numerous older model Toyota Camrys, has been charged with stealing five Camrys in just four days within a half mile of the San Luis Obispo Homeless Shelter, police say.
â€œThere is no such thing as a master key for Camrys,â€? says John Boyd, a locksmith with Central Coast R&R Lock. â€œThe chances of the car thief having a key that fit five Camrys is astronomical.â€?
Late in the afternoon, on May 15, SLO police officer Brian Amoroso was writing out a stolen car report on the fifth missing Camry when he noticed a blue Camry that had been reported stolen a few hours earlier parked in a lot on Bullock Lane. Shortly after the blue Camry was released to its owner, Amoroso spotted a man driving a stolen tan Camry south on Bullock Lane. When Charles Partridge, 24, spotted the officer behind him he bailed out of the car while it was still moving. The unmanned stolen tan Camry crashed into another recently stolen Camry parked on the side of the road.
Amoroso chased Partridge down the sidewalk, over a couple of fences, and into a eucalyptus grove where he was arrested. SLO police escorted Partridge to the County Jail and booked him on five counts of auto theft, evading police, hit and run, driving with a suspended license, and marijuana possession.
â€œWe have no idea what he was doing, only he knows, and he isnâ€™t talking,â€? says SLO police Sergeant Peter Hubbard. â€œCars are usually stolen to sell, or for parts, or for convenience.â€?
Police are searching for a 1989 blue Camry and a 1991 blue Camry and are asking anyone who spots the missing vehicles to call them at 781-7317.