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SAN MATEO, CA — The sighting of a damaged ignition at a motel parking lot led to the arrest of a car theft suspect with eight active warrants found to be in possession of a saw-off shotgun early Friday morning, San Mateo police said.

Officers patrolling an area known for auto-related crimes in the 100 block of N Bayshore Blvd. at Thursday at around 9:24 p.m. noticed an unoccupied Honda CRV parked at America’s Best Value Inn at 140 N Bayshore Blvd. with the ignition “punched,” meaning damage had been done to the ignition – a tell-tale sign of vehicle theft, police said.

A DMV check revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Palo Alto on Monday according to police.

Officers reviewed surveillance video showing the driver pulling a long gun out of the trunk before going into his motel room, police said.

Just before 1 a.m. officers contacted the suspect, identified as James Blain Carrasco, 34 of San Francisco, and an associate, at the suspected stolen vehicle, after they left the motel room, police said.

Carrasco was arrested and a search of his person revealed drug paraphernalia and a shaved key, police said.

Officers later searched his motel room and seized a sawed-off Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun.
Carrasco was transported and booked at San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of committing a felony while on bail, possessing a firearm with an active restraining order, possessing a short-barreled rifle, being a felon in possession of a firearm, grand theft auto and possession of drug paraphernalia, among other charges.

Police made arrests in separate vehicle theft cases on Dec. 23, Dec. 29 and Jan. 6.

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