IRVINE – Police credited residents’ vigilance with the arrest of two men this week, including one with more than a pound of marijuana and an assault rifle in his car.
Irvine police officers went to Santa Clara Street on Tuesday evening after a resident reported a suspicious vehicle.
Officers saw evidence of illegal drugs inside and searched the car. Besides 1.5 pounds of pot and the assault rifle, they found another rifle, officials said.
Officers also found a high-capacity magazine, ammunition and prescription drugs.
The driver, 28-year-old Christopher Lee Mearkle, was taken into custody and booked into county jail, police said.
Court records show Mearkle has faced drug and weapons charges in the past. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to charges of being in possession of a controlled substance and exhibiting a weapon.
In 2006, he was also arrested and pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Residents also alerted officers early Wednesday morning when they saw someone trying to open car doors on the third floor of a parking structure at 2801 Main St.
Officers responded and found 23-year-old Mitchell Keith Thompson in a Toyota pickup, according to police.
He was arrested and booked on suspicion of burglary and possession of burglary tools.
By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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