HC Now Staff
BENTLEY—Bentley Police apprehended a fugitive from California Tuesday morning who was driving a stolen vehicle and in possession of illegal drugs and counterfeit currency. A young toddler whose identify had not been positively determined as of Wednesday afternoon was also in the vehicle.
Larry P. Sambrano III, 44, was charged with possession of stolen property, possession of counterfeit currency, possession of methamphetamines, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in addition to driving on a suspended license. He is in the Sedgwick County Jail awaiting extradition to California on a robbery warrant that was more than a year old.
“He’s a career criminal,” Bentley Police Chief Tim Bryan said. “This is a very dangerous man. He’s gang-affiliate and has been in prison in California. He has a very, very lengthy rap sheet.”
Bryan had been monitoring traffic near Bentley Primary School on Tuesday when at about 8:45 a.m., he said he observed a vehicle that had been reported stolen in Wichita over the weekend.
Bryan approached the vehicle as it was parked at The Halstead Bank, with an adult male passenger making a transaction at the ATM. The driver, Sambrano, was initially uncooperative with police and gave a false name, which Bryan did not believe.
Bryan requested assistance from Halstead Police Department, and Sergeant Matt Stovall arrived with the department’s mobile fingerprint “Morph-ID” system, which identified him.
“Within about three minutes, we had the guy identified as a fugitive from justice out in California on a robbery warrant,” Bryan said.
Bryan said he was very grateful to Halstead Police for helping cracking the case with its fingerprint identification system.
“Eventually we would have found out who he was anyway because we can find out at the jail, but it’s sure nice to know on the scene who you’re dealing with,” Bryan said.
Bryan said Sambrano has lived in Wichita for a couple years and the California warrant has been active for more than a year. The passenger in his vehicle had just moved to the Bentley area a week ago, according to Bryan. That passenger has not been charged, and Bryan did not release his name.
The two men also had a young toddler with them in the stolen vehicle, and Bryan said police were still working to figure out who that child belonged to as of Wednesday afternoon.
“There was a baby in the backseat, under two years of age, that no one can positively identify or claim,” Bryan said. “We took the kid into protective state custody and we’re trying to figure out who it belongs to.”
Bryan said the seized drugs were in “user amounts” and the counterfeit money was in three 20s, two 10s and two 5s for a total of $90.
“The bigger question is where they come from and who was making them,” Bryan said of the counterfeit money. “So we’re working on that angle now.”
The vehicle they were in had been reported stolen last Saturday from the 21st and Broadway area in Wichita. The owners came to collect it from Bentley and said it had a new dent in it since it had been stolen, according to Bryan.
In addition to Halstead’s assistance, the police departments from Colwich and Maize assisted
“I had a lot of backup when I asked for it, and Sedgwick County did a great job, as always, of helping us,” Bryan said.
Bryan also reminded residents as colder weather arrives to not leave vehicles running unattended. He encouraged anyone with information regarding criminal activity to contact Wichita CrimeStoppers via its anonymous tip line at 316-267-2111.