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Deputy John Johnson said he tried to pull over a car that was leaving Rancho Corrido Campgrounds in Valley Center, a place he said had “quite a history of criminal activity,” about 4 a.m. on a Thursday morning, January 17, 2013.

The tail-lights on the Nissan sedan were not working properly when deputy Johnson put his red light on the car, and then the car sped away from him, crossing the center-divider line into oncoming lanes, on highway 76, the deputy said.

After a few minutes, deputies caught up with the vehicle, finding it on the shoulder of the road, high-centered on a dirt median, with the front tires blown out. The engine was still running, the lights were on, and doors were left opened. Officers found part of an oil dip-stick wedged into the ignition, and further investigation disclosed the car was stolen some hours earlier in Escondido.

Officers heard a man who lived nearby yelling that someone was hiding on his property. Deputy Daniel Wilson said he found a woman there, face-down in the dirt between a chain-link fence and a cargo container, and he ordered her to come out.

“She said, ‘Man, I knew that car was stolen!’” Deputy Wilson testified in court today.

The owner of the stolen vehicle was brought to the location where his car was abandoned, and he told officers that a sweatshirt and knit cap were missing from his car. Some hours later, officers found a man wearing those clothing items, walking along the roadside in Valley Center.

Jose Antonio Borja, 30, and Corina Lani Morales, 22, both pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of stolen property and evading officers, at the end of a preliminary hearing today. Honorable Judge Kathleen Lewis remarked, “they both fled, which shows consciousness of guilt,” and set their next court date for March 11, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.

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