On Wednesday, 12-19-12, at approximately 1:45 AM, Hemet Police Officer Dean Benjamin observed a blue Toyota Camry at a high rate of speed northbound in the 500 block S. Kirby Street.
As Ofc. Benjamin attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, the driver attempted to evade him by making several turns that ended on Tahoe Circle, which is a cul-de-sac. The driver of the Toyota stopped the vehicle and fled on foot but was quickly apprehended by Ofc. Benjamin.
Ofc. Benjamin then apprehended the passenger who also fled the vehicle while other officers were arriving on scene.
Through further investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle was an unreported stolen car from the City of Hemet. Hemet Police officers contacted the victim, who was unaware her vehicle was stolen, and was ecstatic that the vehicle was returned to her.
Officer Benjamin didn't stop there. He continued his investigation and conducted several interviews which led to recovering yet another stolen vehicle in the 900 block of Malaga. The second stolen vehicle was a recently reported stolen to Hemet PD.
The driver was arrested on two counts of possessing a stolen vehicle and later transported to Riverside County Jail.
Arrested: James Hanley 27 years old of Hemet, who also had an outstanding warrant for violation of his earlier AB109 release probation terms. Hanley has a history of running from police but this was his first, and hopefully last, time he has tried to get away from Hemet Police Officer Dean Benjamin.
Officer Benjamin's peers and supervisors have taken note of his outstanding work and have been recently referring to him as 'Ben-Jammin'. Sergeant Eddie Pust said, "He's been doing a great job and we are really proud of him."
Officer Benjamin started his law enforcement career with the Hemet Police Department in September, 2011.