By Laura Austin News Review Staff Writer
On February 8, at about 9:30 AM, Officers of the Ridgecrest Police Department (RPD) were dispatched to a report of vehicle theft in progress at 1111 N China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. Officers were advised the suspect was a white male with a black Raiders hoodie, light-colored jeans, and dark-colored shoes. The male, later determined to be Randy Gross, was last seen headed toward the Belle Sera Skilled Nursing Facility.
Officers arrived on the scene and canvassed the area for the suspect. It was learned that a medical transport driver parked in a loading dock with another employee had been assisting a patient in the rear of the transport van. During this time, Gross entered the driver’s seat and turned on the transport vehicle. Gross shifted the vehicle into drive and began driving forward with the patient still inside. The passenger jumped into the vehicle and stopped Gross from continuing.
Gross then exited the vehicle and fled on foot towards Heritage Village, a residential neighborhood. RPD Officers began circulating the area and nearby locations for Gross. During the search, officers worked with RRH security to obtain video footage of the suspect.
Detectives Pietrangelo and Arnold were called to the scene to assist with the investigation. The Detectives located and took Gross into custody a short time later as he was walking away from the area.
After a preliminary assessment, Detectives detected Gross also displayed signs and symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance. At this time, Officers conducted field sobriety tests and determined Gross was currently under the result of a controlled substance.
Gross was arrested on the above-listed charges and transported to the Central Receiving Facility in Bakersfield.